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By Carmen Ensinger
It is Monday morning, you are running late for work and you are behind the North Greene School bus once again. The bus is stopped at one of its many stops along its route and it has the stop arm out and it seems like you have been sitting there forever. Enough is enough – you are just going to go around it, because, after all, you are going to be late for work.
Better think again, buddy. While being late for work might result in a nasty look from your boss, going around the stop arm of that bus will result in a ticket that will probably cost you over $100 at least.
Because at the end of February, all of the North Greene buses were equipped with a new upgraded camera system that allows them to get much more information than ever before.
“When we put it out for bid for new cameras there were different options you could get with those cameras and one of those options was to pay some additional money to have cameras put on the stop arms,” Superintendent Mark Scott said. “So, whenever the stop arm comes out, there is a camera that starts recording that can capture pictures of the vehicle and the vehicle license plate if they go around that stop arm.”
That means if someone goes around the stop arm, they are captured on camera. This is then printed out and taken to the police department, who then writes out a ticket, which is then taken to the States Attorney.
The cameras were installed at the end of February so they have been in use not quite two full months yet and Scott said he is surprised how many people are ignoring the stop arms.
“We have been averaging about two or three people a week running those stop arms,” he said. “It has been mostly in town that is happening – White Hall and Roodhouse. When that stop arm is out – that means you don’t go around that bus. It doesn’t matter if it is sitting in front of the school or someone’s house – you need to stop.”
Scott said he is pretty sure most people don’t know about the new technology that the district has in place, but this is their warning.
“Our main concern here is getting it to stop because it is dangerous,” he said. “You don’t know which way that child is going to go when that stop arm is out. For those that are saying, well, they can’t see who is driving – these are very good, high-definition cameras – take your chances folks.”
So, think about it – what is a minute or two out of your morning or evening when it comes to the life of a child?