Massachusetts

Equipping School Buses With New Technology Could Make Them Safer

Some say equipping school buses with cameras could help cut down on the number of drivers who illegally pass school buses

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Close calls with kids - or worse - that's what can happen if a driver illegally passes a school bus. The Massachusetts legislature is considering helping school districts improve school bus safety by using technology to catch those unsafe drivers and making them face the consequences.

Rep. Kevin Honan, D-Allston/Brighton, is on board.

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"A family sends their kid off to school.  You want the kid to come home safely so this is just common sense safety that we need to have here in Massachusetts," he said.

Technology could help solve this problem. BusPatrol is a technology company that has installed cameras on school buses in more than 20 states.  The camera takes video of a vehicle's license plate when it passes a stopped bus. 

"Send that violation footage to police to review and then a violation could be issued to the registered owner of the vehicle for violating the school bus stopping law," Steve Randazzo of BusPatrol explained.

Randazzo says with distracted driving on the rise this technology can be a deterrent to change behavior.

"Ninety-eight percent of folks who received one violation never received a second one.  We see dramatic behavioral change."

Honan is hopeful it will lead drivers who don't get a ticket but know they could to drive safely.

"That traffic will calm down and the rules of the road will be more protective of children coming home from school."

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