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New Cameras Enforce School Bus Traffic Laws

Posted on in Traffic Offenses

McHenry County traffic attorney, school bus cameras, stopped school bus, traffic laws, traffic violationsEnforcing traffic laws has long been a problem for state and municipal police departments. A lack in officers on the road, compared to the number of vehicles, makes it difficult for police to keep tabs on drivers. Hence, police departments have turned to technology to assist in catching drivers who disregard the rules of the road. Red light cameras, speed cameras, and now school bus cameras are being used to capture dangerous drivers.

In fact, at the start of the school year, Palatine Elementary School District 15 initiated a pilot program to test out school bus cameras on a several routes, per the advice of the Rolling Meadows Police Department.

The Camera Program

There are a variety of special traffic laws that apply to school buses, and the new camera program is designed to enforce one specific law related to the stop signs on school buses. The school district signed a three-year contract with red light camera manufacturer RedSpeed Illinois Inc., so that they could supply special cameras to capture images of drivers going around a stopped school bus.

The cameras are activated when a driver stops to let students on or off the bus. During the stop, the stop sign extends and drivers are forbidden from passing the school bus in order to keep the children safe. If someone ignores the stop sign and passes the bus anyway, the camera snaps a picture of the driver and transmits it to the police.

Bus drivers have complained that there are a surprisingly high number of drivers who ignore the sign. Therefore, this program is being used to evaluate the efficacy of these cameras in deterring such drivers and keeping children safe. If the program proves effective, the school district then plans to install these cameras on the remainder of the 138 school buses in the fleet.

The Penalties

When a driver goes around a stopped school bus, the camera takes a picture of the license plate and records the driver's location using a built-in GPS. The camera then sends all the information and the picture to the police. The police then check the picture and issue a $150 ticket to the violator. RedSpeed keeps the early revenue from these tickets to pay for the cost of the cameras. However, once paid off, the money will be divided among the school district, the police department, and the company.

Traffic violations can come with serious penalties and may increase a person's insurance costs dramatically. If you have recently received a citation for a traffic violation and want to learn about contesting it, reach out to a McHenry County traffic attorney today.
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