City School Buses to Get Stop Sign Cameras

Infuriated by people blowing right by stopped school buses, the city school system is mounting video cameras on the buses to videotape traffic while students are loading and unloading at bus stops, CBS-19 reports. It’s a matter of state law that traffic must come to a halt in both directions when a school bus is at a stop, and a big red “STOP” sign flips off the side of the bus, with red lights flashing on it, just to make sure that everybody is clear on that, but some people still ignore that and drive by the bus at full speed. The danger is that many of the kids getting on or off the bus live on the opposite side of the road, and are taught to cross the road in front of the bus immediately, since traffic is stopped for the bus. Drivers are often too busy doing their jobs to take note of offending vehicles’ license plate numbers, so the intention is that the new system will allow the school’s transportation division to review the tape later to report offenders. The system should be in place this fall.

15 thoughts on “City School Buses to Get Stop Sign Cameras”

  1. I’m with Patience; I think this is wise. My daughters have a bus stop on Locust Avenue and I see drivers blow by regularly.

  2. Its a good idea, too bad it is necessary. Would like to ask one question of those wwho don’t stop. What if you had children on one of those school buses

  3. I support the idea, but I wonder if it’s legal under Virginia law. The General Assembly had quite a debate before authorizing red light cameras back in 2007. Wouldn’t something like this have to be explicitly allowed under the Virginia Code, as well?

  4. I solved this at our bus stop by just walking out and stopping traffic to let my girls on/off. Had to be careful because even at my size, drivers would be unaware that I was edging into the road with my hands out…next to the GIANT FREAKING YELLOW thing with FLASHING LIGHTS.

    It is appalling.

  5. Brian, I think it depends on what they do with the images they capture. If they turn them over to the Commonwealth’s Attorney for the city for prosecution, the images becomes evidence that can be used in trial and challenged like any evidence. If they just send letters to the cars’ owners with pictures from the video, there’s no financial penalty so they’re not like red light cameras. If the schools’ transportation division tries to fine people on the basis of the video, then your concern about legality might come into play.

  6. County buses started crossing the yellow line at each stop. I don’t see that as often, but they would put about 1/3 of the bus into the oncoming lane to narrow the road some.

  7. Thanks Stormy. I think you’re probably right. It’ll come down to the details of how they implement this idea.

  8. Petition your school board to create designated bus ride assembly points for the kids to gather and load. The chances of an accident increase when school buses stop at every driveway and that “stop” sign constantly flaps in and out. The current school bus practices invite the problem as drivers also try to get to school and work.

  9. Robert, I think you may be misunderstanding the problem. In the city, the school buses don’t stop at every driveway. We already have “designated ride assembly points”, also known as “bus stops”.

  10. I have been sending e-mails to former bus-boss of CHO, Bill Watterson, for years regarding school buses running stop signs. Maybe they can record their own lamentable performance…

    Dear Bill,

    Rolling stop eastbound on Market by Charlottesville school bus #12, intersection of Riverview and Market, 7:04 AM, this morning.

    Do you all have technology available for use that shows speed and location of buses? One such unit, rotated amongst the buses in your fleet (school buses & CATS), its location never known, would be an excellent management tool. If drivers were under the impression that their adherence to the rules of the road (Speed limit and traffic control signs) was potentially being scrutinized, I suspect they’d exercise even greater care than they do at present.

  11. The school bus stops in Charlottesville don’t seem to be as closely-spaced as they are in other cities I’ve lived in. I have four children who attended Charlottesville city public schools and it has never been the practice for kids to be picked up at the end of their driveways. Indeed, at the beginning of the school year, parents are sent a list of all bus routes and all the stops–which are designated street corners, usually spaced every couple of blocks– and you just need to work out which stop is closest to you. I know it’s annoying to get stuck behind a school bus when you’re in a hurry, but is this an excuse to risk running over a child with your car?

  12. I’m all for this. My kids are picked up on Rose Hill Drive and it’s appalling to me how many people drop their middle school kids off at Burley and then blow through the bus stop sign.

    I’ve taken to using a bright orange flag on a stick that I wave around before crossing. Even then we have drivers look at us like we’re crazy.

    If this gets people to pay more attention and slow down it can’t happen soon enough.

  13. I, for one, cannot wait until everything, everywhere, always is on camera.

    I simply cannot believe we have lasted as long as we have as a civilization without such measures of constant scrutiny and documentation.

    I guess we got lucky.

  14. I’m with you belmont yo, cameras and guns for everyone! Hell if they just armed the drivers like they ought to anyway they’d only have to put enough cameras on the busses to documents a few scofflaws getting blown away. That video would go viral pretty quickly.

Comments are closed.