Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Public School Bus' Stop Paddle Cameras Help Keep In Keeping 23,000 Students Safe

A neighbor forwarded this information from the Seattle Public Schools website:

 Stop Paddle Cameras Keeping Students Safe
New District Initiative Aims to Improve Student Safety

Seattle Public Schools launched a new initiative to keep the 23,000 students using school transportation a lot safer. Read more about our Student Safety Stop Arm Camera Program initiative.

The cameras began operation on September 18 and starting last week, the King County Sheriff’s Office began issuing $419 citations to vehicle owners that have violated the state’s stop paddle safety law. Visit the Washington State Legislature website to read the text of state law RW 46.61.370.

The district partnered with King County and American Traffic Solutions to deter drivers from illegally passing buses that are loading and unloading students.

Exterior cameras have been added to 120 of the 379 First Student buses that transport our students each day. The cameras capture video of vehicles that appear to be illegally passing the bus when its stop paddle is fully extended. The King County Sheriff's Office reviews the footage provided by the American Traffic Solutions cameras to confirm the traffic violation occurred.

The safety of students is a top district priority. To better understand what is happening locally, the district piloted the stop paddle safety program on 10 school buses traveling the busiest routes. Over that 112-day period, nearly 600 vehicles illegally passed the bus when the stop paddle was in use.

The School Board approved the use of the exterior cameras during its July 5, 2017, meeting.

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