The Use of School Bus Stop Arm Cameras For Stop Arm Enforcement




Gorbet, Zac

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Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT)



Throughout the United States, there are laws prohibiting or regulating the passing of school buses that are stopped to load or unload students. Federal standardization of school bus safety features has led to all school buses being equipped with flashing lights and an extendable stop sign, or “stop arm” to warn motorists to obey those laws. In spite of these measures, tens of thousands of motorists nation-wide illegally pass school buses daily, resulting in multiple deaths every year. Because of the sheer number of bus stops, the vast majority of violations go unenforced; however, with the advent of digital technology school buses can now be equipped with high-quality video cameras that provide evidence of most all violations. This development allows school districts to work within applicable state or local laws to hold violators accountable by issuing citations through the mail. Stop arm camera programs do not come without challenges. Valid questions regarding Legal concerns, equipment costs, and necessity are legitimate areas to address, but proper use of the equipment and citation procedure has withstood most all criticism. Though no enforcement program can prevent every stop arm violation every day, school districts who establish a stop arm camera program can hold infinitely more violators accountable and consequently, enhance child safety.


Bus Stops--Security Measures, Legal Photography, Traffic Violations