SUFFOLK COUNTY, N.Y. — Suffolk County today announced the start of the School Bus Safety Program at a press conference at the Suffolk Transportation Bus Lot in Long Island, New York. The program starts on May 1st following a 60-day motorist education campaign.
As part of the Safety Program, entire school bus fleets at more than 60 participating school districts (4000+ buses) will be equipped with advanced safety technology including BusPatrol cloud-connected stop-arm cameras. The program and technology will reduce the number of stop-arm violations and improve safety for students as they return to school.
According to the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, an estimated 50,000 drivers illegally pass stopped school buses every day in New York State. And in East Meadow, NY, a one-month study of 10 buses in 2019 captured 615 illegal Stop-Arm passes. This is equivalent to 2.3 per bus, per day.
In addition to stop-arm cameras, school transportation departments will have access to BusPatrol’s full suite of safety technology including interior cameras, GPS, telemetry, and live fleet information through the BusPatrol Console.
The technology, installation and maintenance has been provided at no cost to the school districts, County, or taxpayers. Violation revenue will be used to fund the program and awareness campaigns to educate communities on school bus safety.
Since March 1st, BusPatrol and Suffolk County have been raising awareness about the danger of stop-arm violations and the start of the new Safety Program. The 60-day education period includes road signage, school bus bumper stickers, an extensive PSA campaign across TV, radio, print and social media, and school-based outreach and student driver education. The targeted PSAs warned drivers about the dangers of illegally passing school buses and about the presence of new automated enforcement tools.
Speaking about the partnership with Suffolk County, Jean Souliere, CEO and Founder at BusPatrol, said: “Every day in New York State, more than 2.3 million children rely on the big yellow bus to get to and from school. It is essential that all of these children have access to safety technology that exists to protect them and deter reckless drivers.
“For the past seven weeks we have been working hard to ensure that every mom, teacher, and driver knows about the importance of stopping for the school bus and knows about the technology coming to school buses in their community. We hope that this education, combined with enforcement efforts, will make a real positive impact to student safety in Suffolk County.”
Drivers that illegally pass a stopped school bus in Suffolk County on or after May 1st, 2021, can expect to receive a $250 violation in the mail and a link to view the stop-arm violation footage.
For more information on the Suffolk County School Bus Safety Program, please visit: https://trafficsafety.ny.gov/operation-safe-stop
BusPatrol is a safety technology company with the mission of making the journey to and from school safer for children. BusPatrol’s safety programs change driver behavior and create a culture of awareness and responsibility around school buses. In addition, they provide accessibility for school districts, and municipalities to modernize their entire school bus fleets by outfitting them with the latest stop-arm, route planning and route execution technology.