ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — BusPatrol stop-arm cameras are now in two Albany County school districts: South Colonie Central Schools and Bethlehem Central Schools.

It’s all part of Albany County’s school bus safety program: an initiative that aims to cut down on the estimated 50,000 cars that illegally pass school buses every day across the state.

“Driving culture over time, folks are distracted, people are texting and driving more than ever before,” Steve Randazzo, Executive Vice President for BusPatrol, said. “Without this photo enforcement mechanism in place it becomes really hard to hold drivers who put our children’s lives in danger accountable.”  

But how do these new cameras work?

Randazzo said the cameras are installed in every bus in a district’s fleet. The system uses sensors and cameras when the bus overhead lights are flashing.

From there, an evidence folder is created and the cameras record the drivers around the bus. If a violation is recorded, that evidence is passed on to local law enforcement.

“If they approve the violation, part of our obligation as the vendor is to send a notice of violation to the registered owner of the vehicle,” Randazzo said. “This is a civil violation so it’s meant to be sort of that public policy sweet spot, you get hit in the wallet a little bit and it serves as an educational tool but there are no points on your license.” 

The company is looking to expand to other districts in the Capital Region and hoping to promote safety for students along the way.

“It really provides the school district and the parents, school leadership, the extended school community that this program is first and foremost about safety,” Randazzo said. “They appreciate that every child is treated the same, every child riding the bus is afforded the opportunity to have a safer ride to and from school.”