Arlington school buses get cameras to help enforce no passing laws

Charles Territo from American Traffic Solutions shows ABC7 how the cameras work. (WJLA)

ARLINGTON, Va. (WJLA) - Most people know driving past a school bus stop sign is illegal, still millions of these violations occur nationwide every year. In Arlington, the school system is trying to put the brakes on the issue by implementing the Crossing Guard School Bus Stop Arm Safety Camera Program.

Dave McCrae is Director of Transportation for Arlington Public Schools and told ABC7, "We feel serious enough about the problem to require action."

That action is coming in the form of cameras mounted on the sides of school buses. Charles Territo works for American Traffic Solutions; the company that provided the cameras.

He explained how they work. "The cameras mounted here are used to sense violations that occur and capture a vehicle approaching the bus. The camera at the rear of the bus is used to provide an overview."

Offenders will receive a $250 ticket.

According to Arlington Public Schools, a recent survey found 1,828 vehicles illegally passed stopped school buses in Virginia on a single day in 2014.

A number that could amount to nearly 330,000 vehicles illegally passing in one school year. The hope is the cameras will bring that behavior to a screeching halt.

Territo insists the program works. "99% of individuals who receive a violation for running a stop arm haven't received a second," he expressed.

Between now and September 7 there will be a warning period. Starting September 8, anyone in Arlington who runs a school bus stop sign should expect to pay the $250 fine.

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