Beginning July 1, vehicles that illegally pass an Arlington Public Schools bus that is stopped for students are at risk for receiving a traffic ticket through the school district’s CrossingGuard School Bus Stop-Arm Safety Camera Program. The county’s program was temporarily paused while the state legislature passed legislation improving the operation of the student-safety focused program.
More than 20 Arlington school buses are outfitted with the CrossingGuard system, supplied by American Traffic Solutions. The system is used to reduce the number of vehicles that wrongfully pass stopped school buses and endanger children walking to or from the bus.
APS operates 165 buses that transport about 10,000 students to and from school each week. During the first four weeks of this school year, the CrossingGuard Program recorded 216 school bus stop arm violations across 19 days of operation.
The CrossingGuard school bus stop-arm safety solution mounts cameras and sensors on the side of the school bus. When the stop arm is deployed, the sensors automatically detect a vehicle illegally passing the stop arm in either direction or captures video of the violation including the vehicle’s license plate. The video is then reviewed by the Arlington County Police Department for approval prior to a citation being issued. In Virginia, the penalty for a stop-arm violation will warrant the vehicle’s owner a civil penalty of $250.
CrossingGuard is a completely automated, turnkey system that allows school bus drivers to focus on what is most important – the safety of their passengers. Answers to frequently asked questions about the program and Virginia traffic laws pertaining to school bus stop arms are available on the APS website at www.apsva.us/stoparmcameras