A number of you have recently shared with me, a desire to see Cameras installed on our busses with the ability to detect and ticket, red light violators. As a school bus driver, I don’t think there is anything more infuriating, than a driver blasting past your red lights as you are picking up or dropping off students. The risks some drivers are willing to take to avoid being stopped by a school bus, are mind blowing. Increasingly, more and more drivers are even going so far as to pass a school bus on the right hand side. One such driver was recorded jumping the curb and driving on the sidewalk to pass a school bus, not just one time, but multiple times! This particular school bus driver, was unloading a special needs student, which, in my opinion, makes what the driver did even more deplorable. The average time a school bus is stopped to load or unload children, is about 30 seconds, give or take, depending on the number of students boarding or unloading. The time increases to about five minutes if a wheelchair is involved. Regardless of the time it takes, Just STOP!
There are currently twelve states that have introduced legislation and implemented red light cameras on their school busses to deter this problem. Wyoming being the most recent state to implement this safety feature. To me, it is sad that there is even a need for this discussion to take place, that is has become such a problem that we have had to resort to creating additional legislation to ensure that people do the right thing, to do what so many of us believe to be a natural response—Just STOP! Sadly, red light violations occur far too often, not to consider additional laws and precautions to remedy this ongoing, disturbing trend.
Of the states that have created new legislation and implemented the cameras, how effective have the new legislation and cameras been and how satisfied has your state or school district been with their decision to implement these changes. Has there been a significant reduction in red light violations? Have the police been cooperative in assisting you through this process? Have the cameras been easy to maintain? What has been the biggest drawback since installing and implementing these legislative changes? What percentage of the fine is returned to the school district?
How about you—What do you think? Should Ohio, or the state you live in consider additional legislation that would allow the use of cameras to catch red light runners? Your thoughts and ideas are welcome!
Until, or unless, Ohio, or the state you live in, chooses to invest in additional legislation and the equipment necessary to make these changes, I offer this. We are school busses, which means, that we run on a specific time schedule. If you don’t want to be, inconvenienced by our red lights, alter your route, or adjust the time you leave your home, business, or school. Otherwise, —Just STOP!