Survey: Majority of U.S. adults support installing cameras on the side of school buses to thwart illegal passing

A national online survey conducted for ACS by Harris Interactive shows that the majority of those surveyed are concerned enough about vehicles illegally passing stopped school buses that they support measures to use cameras to ticket offenders.

School bus camera pilot programs conducted by ACS show buses are illegally passed at least once a day, similar to national surveys and estimates. Sixty-six percent of the 2,112 U.S. adults surveyed support placing cameras on the side of school buses to help ticket drivers for illegally passing school buses while loading or unloading students.

Currently school bus drivers must try to record the license plate number of a vehicle that illegally passes a school bus, as well as other information like the location and time of the incident. Survey results show that more than three out of every four U.S. adults (77 percent) agree school bus drivers are too busy focusing on student safety to record information for vehicles illegally passing a stopped school bus.

“Bus drivers transport life’s most precious cargo – our children,” said Mark Talbot, group president, Local Government - Americas, ACS. “A driver’s focus cannot simultaneously be on protecting a student from an illegally passing vehicle and capturing the license plate information of the offending vehicle. This survey highlights the public’s overwhelming support for safety innovation such as school bus cameras to help improve student safety.”

ACS’ CrossSafe™ technology is one solution aimed at changing driver behavior by deterring drivers from passing a school bus while children are boarding. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, as of 2009 on average there are 27 school bus-related pedestrian fatalities each year.

Using a video camera mounted near a school bus’ stop arm, CrossSafe captures and reports school bus stop light violations by electronically sharing the video with local law enforcement. The video is watermarked with the information bus drivers aren’t able to capture, including time, date, GPS coordinates and license plate numbers.