Chesapeake council votes to install stop-arm cameras on school buses


CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — Chesapeake City Council on Tuesday approved a measure to install stop-arm cameras on city school buses.

The cameras capture images of cars that illegally pass school buses.

Dr. Jared Cotton, superintendent of Chesapeake Public Schools, wrote in a letter to city council that stop-arm cameras would improve the safety of bus riders

Chesapeake school buses have been involved in three accidents since the school year started.

Council members passed the measure unanimously Tuesday night.

The vote means Chesapeake will become the latest school district to install cameras on the stop arms of buses. Virginia Beach added cameras to the outside of dozens of buses earlier this year.

The Code of Virginia states drivers approaching a school bus are not allowed to pass if the bus’s stop-arm is extended or if its red lights are flashing.

Cotton says the past few years they’ve been revving up safety measures, and this is another step.

“Apart of that is making sure that our motorists are aware that our school buses are on the road and making sure that they’re following those rules of the road to keep our students safe,” he explained.

Cotton says people driving through school bus stop arms hasn’t been a big issue, but there have been a few reports from bus drivers.

“It hasn’t been a major problem for us, but our feeling is one is too many,” Cotton said.

The cameras will be installed in phases, so just a few to start.

Then you should start seeing more pop up in the next month or so, Cotton said.

He explained that the school system is looking at partnering with a vendor, which means it would essentially be free.

“Any revenue that comes from the citations and violations will pay for it,” Cotton explained.

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