Protecting Your Children at School Bus Stops
The safety and security of our students is a top priority – before, during and after class is in session. In an effort to make the bus ride safer to and from school, the City of Lancaster implemented REDFLEX Student Guardian®, an automated stop arm enforcement program. This program was implemented in November, 2013 as a tool to detect and deter drivers from illegally passing school buses while students are entering and exiting the bus. The program is monitoring six bus routes within the Lancaster City limits. The fine for illegally passing a school bus in Lancaster is $250.
Student Guardian is a safety camera system installed on the exterior driver’s side of a school bus. It monitors and detects drivers who illegally pass school buses when the stop arm is deployed and red lights are displayed, endangering the lives of children as they enter and exit the bus. This law enforcement tool, also known as stop arm enforcement technology, is used in school districts across the country to curb dangerous driving behaviors on school bus routes. This program is funded by violators’ fines. Therefore, there are no costs to the City, School District or Police Department.
Frequently Asked Questions: Automated Stop Arm Enforcement
How does the safety camera system work?
- External camera systems are installed on the exterior driver’s side of a school bus.
- The camera systems automatically monitor traffic when the bus’ stop arm is deployed and the red lights are displayed, allowing the bus driver to stay focused on the children.
- The cameras are only triggered to capture data as a vehicle passes the bus while children are loading and unloading.
- This data is reviewed and processed into an evidence file.
- A local law enforcement officer reviews the video evidence to determine if a violation has occurred. If a violation is deemed to have occurred the citation is issued.
What kind of data is captured by the safety cameras?
The safety camera systems generate the following data for law enforcement:
- Hi-resolution still images
- Hi-Definition video detailing the incident
- A data bar encrypted into the video images detailing date, time, and GPS location of each incident.
Is this an issue in our community?
Drivers illegally pass school buses every day, risking the safety and security of students. According to a 2013 study by the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services, 29 states found that more than 85,000 vehicles illegally passed 108,000 school buses in one day. That represents over 15 million illegal passes nationally in a typical 180-day school year.
How does Lancaster know which bus routes are problematic?
A video survey of Lancaster School bus routes was conducted to determine the most dangerous bus routes in our community. Once the route analysis was completed, Lancaster Public Schools determined which routes would be monitored.
When is it okay for me to pass a school bus?
According to the Ohio Revised Code, when traveling on a road that is divided into four or more lanes, drivers going the opposite direction of the school bus do not need to stop when a bus’ red lights are flashing and the stop arm is extended. However, drivers traveling in the same direction as a school bus are required to stop when the bus’ stop arm is extended, and/or the red lights are flashing. Additionally, if the road is less than four lanes, drivers traveling in the opposite direction must stop for a school bus when the bus’ red lights are flashing and/or stop arm extended.
What happens if I get a ticket?
Vehicle owners will be presented with the opportunity to pay the citation, contest the citation via an informal civil hearing, or nominate the driver. If you decide to pay the ticket you can view hi-resolution images and videos of the violation via www.PhotoNotice.com. If the citation is not paid in 60 days, the debt will go to collections.
Please contact the Transportation Department at 740.687.7366 for more information on Lancaster’s Student Guardian program.