New Cameras Help Police Nab Drivers Who Pass School Buses - NBC Connecticut

New Cameras Help Police Nab Drivers Who Pass School Buses

Police in Plainville Report Epidemic of Passing School Buses

Town uses cameras and computers to record and punish drivers (Published Monday, Oct. 20, 2014)

A new system of cameras and computers targets drivers who pass stopped school buses in Plainville, and police are calling the incident an "epidemic" and have already issued more than 30 tickets since the school year began.

"Who can argue against kids' safety?" said Plainville police Sgt. Paul Shanahan. "We're not really interested in making any money."

But police are making money – each fine is $465. Plainville is one of many Connecticut towns now using bus-mounted cameras and computers to detect the license plates of cars that pass standing school buses.

The system records video of the scene when a bus slows down to stop and the driver activates its flashing amber lights.

"When they see an amber light, the first thing they should do is slow down," Shanahan said. "If the bus is driving, obviously you can't discharge kids or pick them up; however, you don't know at what point that bus is going to stop."

According to police, all too often drivers ignore the lights. The new camera system is designed to help protect children getting on and off the bus.

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