AG wants cameras to make NC school buses safer
Posted October 20, 2014
Raleigh, N.C. — North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper wants public school buses across the state equipped with cameras to help capture drivers violating school-bus traffic safety laws.
Cooper said Monday that the equipment – similar to what's being used at traffic lights – would take photos of the license plates of any drivers who illegally pass stopped school buses.
"Careless drivers are putting students' safety at risk when they fail to stop for school buses," Cooper said in a statement. "Adding cameras and issuing automatic citations will help stop law breakers who put students' lives and safety at risk, and it can also pay for itself."
In a letter sent last week, he asked the North Carolina Child Fatality Task Force to examine the technology and hear about how it's working in other states – including Georgia, Maryland and Virginia – and then recommend the best way to implement it.
Fines paid by violators, Cooper said, would go to pay for the system.
The proposal comes weeks after several students in the Triangle and surrounding areas were seriously injured while crossing the road to get onto a bus. In each case, buses were stopped, and safety signals on the buses were activated. Another student was killed while waiting for his bus.
Monday marks the beginning of National Bus Safety Week.
As part of the campaign, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol has kicked off its annual "Operation Stop Arm" to promote traffic safety around schools, school buses and school bus stops.
Approximately 1,500 state troopers will focus on school zones, trail buses and target and ticket drivers who don't obey traffic and safety laws.
A one-day survey at the beginning of the 2014-15 school year found that 3,153 vehicles passed stopped school buses in North Carolina, more than double the number of violators in 2000.