|Cameras installed on Spring-Ford school buses will soon record any vehicle passing them while they are stopped, resulting in a $300 citation being mailed home.|
Drivers' chances of getting caught passing a stopped school bus in Limerick Township, and everywhere else in the Spring-Ford School District for that matter, will go up significantly starting Sept. 20.
That's when a program that installed cameras on the exterior of all district buses goes into effect.
The system was approved by the Spring-ford School Board in May.The company that installs the camera and the technology to send the photographs is called Buspatrol LLC.
When a vehicle passes a stopped school bus, which is against the law, the camera records it and the information is provided to the police department of the township where the incident occurred.
Limerick Police Lt. Robert Matalavage addresses
township supervisors Tuesday night.
Because it's a civil citation, there is an advantage to the offender to pay it, because it does not add points to their license, which can result in a driver's license being taken away, he said.
When a small percentage ignore the civil citation, the data is forwarded to the police department, which can then levy a criminal citation which results in points, and eventually, license revocation.
"This is one of the best programs I've seen in a long time. We get to see the violation in real time," he said. "It's hard to contest that when you take opinions out."
Although there is a monetary benefit to the township in the sense that the township gets a share, and can use its manpower resources elsewhere, the real benefit is "a change of culture and behavior," among the drivers, Matalavage says.
Evidence for that comes from the fact that 94 percent of those who get a citation, "don't ever get another one," Matalavage said.
"You put a cop at an intersection and no one breaks the law, well this is like having a cop on every school bus," he said.