DUBOIS CO., Ind. (WFIE) - School bus stop arm violations happen every year in Dubois County, and officials say they aren’t always successful in catching the people who commit these violations - until now.
”So we’re getting school bus stop arm safety camera system up and running,” Sergeant Stuart Wilson with Dubois County Sheriff’s Office said. “All the school districts here in the county will receive some of the camera systems that are installed on the buses to help us hopefully catch stop arm violators.”
Violations can occur every week during the school year. Before the newly-installed cameras, Sergeant Wilson says they relied on luck to catch the violators.
”Historically, they’ve been incredibly difficult to investigate,” Sergeant Wilson said. “We almost have to have a license plate number to be able to track down the driver of that vehicle, and when a bus driver has many things on their mind, it’s difficult at best to get that information.”
Without that information, the sheriff’s office says deputies haven’t been able to find violators and charge them properly, but now, school officials say the cameras will be a boost for student safety.
“Kids safety is intrical,” Ryan Case, the principal at Northeast Dubois Intermediate School and transportation director said. “It’s number one for us, and it’s just a scary thought of a kid walking out of their driveway and a car blowing through a stop sign. It’s a scary part for us as a school.”
Cameras were installed on buses located across the county. Each system costs $2,400.
”A driver would have an incident. They will contact us on the radio, and we’ll meet them at the end of their route,” Case said. “We’ll pull that little black box and pull that in, and we’ll be able to view that image. Once we have that image viewed of either a face of the driver or a license plate of the driver, we’ll then contact the county sheriff’s office.”
Both officials say they’re confident the cameras will make bus stops safer.
”Just wait - it’s 30 seconds,” Sergeant Wilson said. “30 seconds in the grand scheme to a drive to work, or a drive home, or to school is nothing. Everybody can slow down. Take that 30 seconds. Be more cautious around that school bus.”
Students in Dubois County will be able to ride the bus again for the first day of school on August 12.