New stop-arm cameras on Newport News school buses ready to catch violators as students head back to school

Back to School

Failure to stop could result in minimum $250 fine

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — With the first day of school fast approaching, and most kids heading back to the classroom, drivers are getting ready to share the roads once again with school buses.

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If you don’t follow the law requiring vehicles to stop when buses unload and pick up students, you could receive a hefty fine even if police are not around to catch the violation.

Newport News Public Schools Director of Transportation Shay Coates wants to remind the public their new stop-arm cameras will be in full operation on the first day of school.

“A lot of people like to zip around the buses,” said Coates. “Once the stop arm goes out, the camera goes into action and records any vehicles that might pass by illegally.”

The video gets sent to a third-party vendor that manages the cameras. The vendor sends the video to the Newport News Police Department for review. If an officer determines a violation took place, a $250 fine will be sent to the owner of the vehicle.

The cameras were installed on Newport News school buses last year and turned on this March when only a small number of the bus fleet was in use.

They’ve already captured 3,200 violations according to Coates.

Coates says about 60% of ticket revenue goes to the vendors who maintain the cameras. The remaining 40% goes to the Newport News Police Department to help pay the salary of the officers who review the footage and issue violations.

At the end of the day, Coates says these cameras are about keeping kids safe.

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