- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
American Traffic Solutions is looking to help Charles County curb the amount of people who fail to stop for school buses.
Jim Dolan of American Traffic Solutions, a company that installs and services road safety cameras, spoke Tuesday to the Charles County Board of Education about a growing problem with people violating traffic laws when it comes to school buses.
Doolan pointed to statistics from a recent survey where participating school bus drivers reported violations. During a one-day survey, participating Charles County school bus drivers reported that 128 drivers failed to stop when their bus stop signals were on.
The Charles County Sheriff’s Office recently made a pitch to the county commissioners to bring the cameras to county school buses. No final action has been taken at that level.
The Maryland State Department of Education-sponsored survey was taken in April. This is the third year for the survey, and data indicate that while drivers continue to pass the stop arms on school buses, there has been some progress.
Doolan said the problem has been hard to get a handle on “until now.”
Traffic Solutions, he said, has a program called Crossing Guard that uses a camera to capture the license plate number of a violator seconds after a car passes the bus.
The camera is designed to record when the red stop lights are flashing and a car passes.
The camera has low-light visibility and uses GPS to record the position of the bus.
Through the program, data would be sent to Traffic Solutions wireless recorders, and information would then be sent to the Charles County Sheriff’s Office to accept or reject the violation. If accepted, Traffic Solutions will send the violator a citation.
Doolan said there is no cost to the school system or the sheriff’s office. The program, he said, is violator funded.
Doolan said working together, the company, the school system and sheriff’s office can “attack the problem in a positive way.”
School board Vice Chairwoman Maura H. Cook asked about the success rate.
Sheriff’s office Maj. Robert Cleaveland said the cameras would serve as a tool to help address the concern.
“At the end of the day, it’s something to help keep children safe. It’s the right thing to do,” he said.