Lancaster Schools Using Bus Cameras To Watch Drivers Who Are Illegally Passing
Lancaster City School officials say installing cameras on the side of some of the district’s buses has cut down on drivers who illegally pass.
However, the district says it's still a problem in their community. School bus drivers in Lancaster say drivers have ignored their warnings to stop for years.
Last November, the city of Lancaster became the first municipality in the state to enact legislation that allows for digital video monitoring as a tool to watch drivers who illegally pass stopped school buses.
“We had a few instances where children had to get out of harm’s way because a motorist failed to stop,” said Greg Kelley, Transportation Director.
10TV obtained video of a 2012 incident from the district. The driver in the video crosses a double yellow line, barely missing a kindergarten student as she stepped off a bus.
The city crafted legislation that allowed for video monitoring at bus stops, and then, the district installed "REDFLEX Student Guardians" –high resolution digital cameras.
The district says the cameras are on six of its 33 buses. The six routes are ones where the most problems have been reported.
Since the cameras were installed, the city law director says more than 100 notices have been issued. He also says drivers find it hard to deny what's caught on video.
"One of our first hearings was an older gentleman who came in and said 'I didn't do this, I didn't do this.' He sat down and watched the video and said 'I did it, OK, here's my money,'” said Law Director and City Prosecutor, Randall Ullom.
Five days into the 2014-2015 academic year, the district says it has already issued 10 notices.
Kelley says he'll work to keep kids safe until drivers get it.
"We were told it may take two to three years before we see a drastic reduction,” said Greg Kelley.
Lancaster City Schools says there is no cost to taxpayers to use the REDFLEX camera system. REDFLEX pays for the installation and receives $195 of each $250 ticket.
While REDFLEX reviews the videos, it then passes them on to the Lancaster Police Department. Local police make the final determination on whether a driver caught on camera is in violation of the city's ordinance.