On August 21, 2012, the Newton County School System and the Newton County Sheriff’s Department officially launched a school bus stop photo enforcement program. Twenty-five of the school system’s buses are now outfitted with high-resolution cameras. The cameras, which are supplied and operated by American Traffic Solutions, will capture photos and video of motorists who illegally pass school buses while students are boarding or disembarking at bus stops.
In Georgia, the penalty for a violation captured by these cameras is $300 for the first violation, $750 for the second violation, and a third violation within a five-year period will result in a $1,000 fine. “The school bus stop photo enforcement program provides us with an efficient way to enforce school bus stop laws and better safeguard the children that ride the bus,” said Cortney Morrison, public information officer for the Newton County Sheriff’s Office.
The launch of the photo enforcement program in Newton County closely follows the unveiling of the statewide “Stop Means Stop” campaign, an initiative of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety and Georgia Department of Education. The initiative is designed to raise awareness about traffic laws prohibiting motorists from passing school buses when the red flashing lights on buses are activated. This week, Georgia First Lady Sandra Deal is making several stops at schools throughout the state to announce the campaign.
“As part of a nationwide survey conducted earlier this year, bus drivers in Newton County reported eighty-eight school bus stop violations in a single day,” said Michael Barr, director of support services for the school system. “We are optimistic the launch of the photo enforcement program locally and the statewide public awareness campaign will significantly reduce the number of violations that occur each day.”
The primary objective of this program is to positively impact driver behavior and add yet another component to the school district’s school bus safety program. “The photo enforcement program has afforded the school district a unique opportunity to partner with the Newton County Sheriff’s Department in an effort to curb unsafe driver behavior during school bus travel hours in our most densely populated areas” said Dr. Dennis L. Carpenter, deputy superintendent for operations. “As a district we are excited about the positive, long-term impact this initiative could have on the safety and well-being of children who depend on us daily for safe travel to and from school.”
For more information, contact Mike Barr at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Watch our video for more information on the program.