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How Do Stop Arm Cameras Protect Children?

Sending your children off to school can be stressful for any parent.

Parents want to know that their children are safe at all times, and one of the places where they are the most at risk is when they are getting on and off the school bus.

Children crossing the street to and from the bus can be hidden from view until the last second.

It’s the reason why all school buses have a stop arm that is extended at every stop.

When the stop arm is deployed, vehicles are not allowed to pass the school bus.

The stop arm protects children at their most vulnerable by giving them the opportunity to cross the road safely.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of drivers who disregard the stop arm and pass a bus when it’s extended.

A survey done in 2019 found that there were 95,000 stop arm violations nationwide in a single day, despite stop arm violations being illegal in every state.

To help prevent the illegal passing of school buses and hold drivers accountable, school districts are now using stop arm cameras to capture video of violations as they happen.

How Do Stop Arm Cameras Work?

Stop arm cameras act as witnesses to stop arm infractions.

Video cameras are typically installed on the driver’s side of school bus at the front and the rear.

When the stop arm is extended, the cameras become activated and are ready to record any violations.

They use technology such as sensors and artificial intelligence to automatically record vehicles that drive past buses when they have the stop arm extended.

The system captures footage of a violation and then the images are used as evidence to create citations.

Do Stop Arm Cameras Reduce Violations?

One of the reasons why there are so many stop-arm violations is that there has been very little enforcement for violations.

Stop arm violations are hard for police to catch violators in the act.

There are too many buses and too many stops to monitor, so the vast majority of illegal bus passing happens without getting caught.

The defining feature of stop arm camera systems is that they capture every violation automatically.

It’s similar to what happened with the installation of red-light cameras.

Every city has intersections that are more prone to dangerous driving and accidents.

Some cities took the step to identify those intersections and install cameras that would automatically capture footage of red-light violations and issue citations.

A nationwide survey found that with the installation of red-light cameras, the fatal crash rate of red light running in large cities dropped by 21 percent.

The concept is the same for a stop-arm camera.

It is an enforcement program meant to detect and deter drivers from illegally passing school buses while children are getting to and from the school bus.

This automated system can help change dangerous driver behavior and reduce what is currently to more than 17 million violations in a 180-day school year.

Choosing A Stop Arm Camera System

For clarity, functionality and durability, the School Bus Student Protector from Gatekeeper Systems is the industry standard.

The system automatically detects when the stop arm is deployed and captures violations as they happen, no matter the conditions or speed of the vehicle.

Everything is captured in crystal clear video: license plate, location, time, if the warning lights were active, if the stop arm was deployed – all the information needed to create a citation.

The camera system is so powerful that it can capture stop arm violators in the toughest weather, and up to 4 lanes away.

The footage can then be entered into a program that allows law enforcement to review it and determine if a violation has taken place and if a citation needs to be issued.

Issuing tickets to violators is necessary because it helps change behavior and raise awareness for the stop arm law.

Stop arm cameras are the natural progression of using technology to hold drivers who put children at risk accountable. Just as red-light cameras help reduce accidents, stop arm cameras make our streets safer for children.