ENDICOTT (WBNG) -- Broome County Executive Jason Garnar, EMS officials and administrators with the Union-Endicott School District announced Monday the successes of the county-wide School Bus Stop Arm Camera Program.
According to County Executive Garnar, a total of 179 drivers have been caught illegally passing school buses since the program began in Spring 2021. 120 drivers were caught during the May 2021 warning period of the program. 59 drivers were caught over the summer and were issued tickets.
Garnar said 179 times since the program began children were "at-risk" of getting hurt when getting on and off the school bus.
"Our kids' safety is our top priority," Garnar said. "Parents should have peace of mind that when they get their child on the bus in the morning that their child is going to be safe."
Broome County Director of Emergency services Patrick Dewing said the technology in the stop arm allows the driver of the school bus to focus on children getting on and off the bus by capturing video of the vehicle that drives past the bus automatically.
The stop-arm camera records the vehicle passing the bus and records their license plate. The video is uploaded to and reviewed by Broome County Security. Officials with Broome County Security will determine if a violation occurred, Dewing said. A violation carries a $250 fine.
Union-Endicott High School Supervisor of Transportation Lisa Bennett said the new program allows drivers to focus on the children.
"We're all about safety," Bennett said. "That's the most important thing that we do."
Bennett said she hopes the program will deter drivers from passing school buses illegally. She said the previous method of holding drivers accountable for passing a school bus illegally required the "fortune" of a driver getting the color, make and license plate number of the vehicle.