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NY targets illegal school bus passing with cameras

Submitted by on October 22, 2009 – 7:29 PM
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In those cases, police can follow up and drivers can be ticketed and face fines and points on their license. Also police themselves can catch and ticket motorists.

But with the cameras, fines could be issued more easily and deter violators, officials said. The method would require approval by the state Legislature and the governor.

“This program was really begun to be more of awareness building, but I believe at some point it will go into an enforcement camera situation, just like we have with traffic lights,” said John Coxen, Brewster’s transportation supervisor, a former Ossining, Westchester County, police officer.

The state this year passed legislation to allow some cities, including Rochester and Yonkers, to install cameras at intersections to catch drivers speeding through red lights.

Some officials said the same premise could be applied to school buses.

DMV Commissioner David Swarts said that, “50,000 times today motorists will pass a stopped school bus illegally. That puts our most precious part of our society, our young people, in serious jeopardy.”

The pilot program was first launched last year in Syracuse, where the camera recorded 68 illegal passes in 41 days, or 1.66 a day. The latest program ran from April through September on school days. The results were released this week to commemorate National School Bus Safety Week.

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