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Hilton school buses now equipped with stop-arm cameras

February 07, 2019 11:27 PM

HILTON, N.Y. (WHEC) -- This month, the Hilton Central School District is installing brand new stop-arm cameras on nearly their entire fleet of buses.

The cost of the cameras was approximately $65,000 and was purchased through the current budget. 

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"It's a statewide crisis while loading and unloading students," said Hilton's transportation director Joseph LaMarca. "It tapes continuously so when the red flashers are on, there will be a symbol on the camera itself that shows the flashers are running and we will be able to take the plate whether it's going at us or coming around us." 

In a survey taken last year in the United States, more than 80,000 motorists ran school bus stop arms in one day, equating to more than 15 million violations in a year. 

Now in Hilton, if buses are passed, the driver will note the time it happened. The footage will then be pulled and sent to the Department of Motor Vehicles. 

"In some cases, there will be a warning. If there is a second offense, there will be a ticket with a fine," added LaMarca. 

There's currently a bill to help districts contract with law enforcement agencies to process and assess fines for violations called the School Bus Camera Safety Act.

According to bill sponsor Senator Cathy Young, in states where the technology is already in use, reports indicate that the cameras result in violation declines of between 30 to 50 percent.

The bill stalled last year in the Assembly but Young says she's resubmitting it again in 2019. 

Fines for running a school bus stop arm run anywhere from $250 to $1,000. 

Hilton is one of the first districts in the Rochester area to equip buses with these cameras.

Districts including Webster, East Irondequoit, and Greece have yet to install these types of cameras on their buses. 

Credits

Beth Cefalu

Copyright 2019 - WHEC-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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