Home > News > ATS’ Newsletter Vol. 6, Issue 39

ATS’ Newsletter Vol. 6, Issue 39

September 8th, 2016

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There is no bigger story this week than what happened in Austin, Texas. There a driver was caught on video passing a stopped school bus and striking a child just feet from the bus he had just departed. Then, the scene repeated itself 24 hours later. Both children were not seriously injured, but the shocking video in the media raised the tenor of the call by authorities for drivers to stop for school buses. Road Safety Ink’s first three stories below are dedicated to this news coverage:

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School Bus Children Are Being Hit by Cars
ABC News (New York), Sept. 2, 2016

In these disturbing videos the kids are the ones in school, but it’s the drivers that apparently need a lesson. Twice just this week in Austin, Texas, students were hit by drivers blowing right by school buses ignoring signs and flashing lights. Austin Independent School District issued close to 1,000 school bus stop-arm violations in the first week of school this year. (ABC News image)

ADDITIONAL COVERAGE:
2 Students Hit by Vehicles after Getting Off School Bus

KXAN-TV NBC 36 (Texas), Sept. 1, 2016

Just two weeks into the school year, video has been released of two Austin Independent School District students being hit by trucks in separate incidents seconds after they stepped off their school bus. … The students in both cases were not seriously injured. In both cases, the drivers stayed at the scene and were cited by police. Caution the video is shocking. (KXAN-TV NBC 36 image)

ADDITIONAL COVERAGE:
Texas Police Warn Drivers to Slow Down after 2 Kids Hit

Inside Edition, Sept. 6, 2016

Texas police are now warning drivers to be aware of children crossing the street after two young students were struck after getting out of a school bus in the span of 24 hours. In harrowing footage released by the Austin Police Department, a 12-year old student is struck down by a black pickup truck as he crossed the street after exiting the bus. Less than 24 hours later, another driver could be seen hitting a different student who was also leaving a school bus, and crossing the street. (Inside Edition image)

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Mercer Island Gets Stop-Arm Cameras on School Buses
KIRO-TV Channel 7 (Washington), Sept. 5, 2016

The Mercer Island School District has outfitted five buses with school bus stop-arm safety cameras from American Traffic Solutions to catch people who run through school bus stop signs. School bus drivers said they have seen several drivers run their stop signs every day. (KIRO-TV Channel 7 image)

 

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Buses Equipped with Cameras to Curb Stop-Arm Violations
The Marietta Daily Journal (Georgia), Sept. 6, 2016

Since Cobb County schools began a month ago, 2,241 motorists failed to stop for school buses loading or unloading passengers, a 31 percent increase over last year. … Michael Warner, associate director of fleet maintenance for the Cobb School District, attributes the increase to a software upgrade and an increase in the number of buses equipped with the stop-arm safety cameras. (The Marietta Daily Journal image by Kelly Huff)

Maryland Drivers Who Illegally Pass School Buses Increase
The Washington Post (Washington D.C.), Sept. 6, 2016

The number of Maryland drivers who illegally passed school buses that were stopped to let children on and off increased more than 50 percent in the past year, according to the results of a state survey released Tuesday. The survey, based on violations counted on a single day in April, found 4,326 vehicles passed stopped school buses — ignoring their stop arms and flashing lights — compared with 2,795 in 2015. See Maryland State Department of Education news release on survey here. See related article by The Frederick News-Post.

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Mesquite District to Increase School Bus Safety Cameras
Mesquite News (Texas), Sept. 1, 2016

Mesquite Independent School District and city officials have approved plans to allow American Traffic Solutions to increase the number of school bus safety cameras on its bus fleet. The cameras activate once the stop-arm paddle is extended and are used to improve safety for children around buses. The transportation department has seen an increase in the number of people who ignore the stop arms over the years. ATS outfitted 25 buses with cameras this year, and the district plans to ask for an additional 20 or more next year. (Mesquite News/Mesquite ISD image by Wade Odom)

 

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IIHS @IIHS_autosafety How red light cameras affect safety in cities

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NYC DOT @NYC_DOT Bus lane camera violations begin 9/9 along #Brooklyn’s #B46 #SelectBusService route @NYCTBus www1.nyc.gov/nyc-resources/…  

 

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Cape May Bridge Commission Considers Electronic Tolling

Press of Atlantic City (New Jersey), Sept. 4, 2016

Traveling over Cape May County’s five toll bridges is anything but easy if you don’t have cash. But that could change. The county Bridge Commission is looking into using E-ZPass, an electric toll-collection system used on the Atlantic City Expressway and Garden State Parkway, Chairman Patrick Rosenello said. He hopes the change, should it move forward, increases the number of drivers using the bridge. (Press of Atlantic City image by Dale Gerhard)

Florida Expressway Offers College Football Transponders
Orlando Sentinel (Florida), Sept. 2, 2016

College football fans in Florida can now get their team’s logo on their E-Pass, the Central Florida Expressway Authority said. The University of Central Florida, Florida State University and the University of Florida stickers are now available as part of a partnership with the tolling authorities and universities. The GatorPass, NolePass and KnightPass are available for $18.50 plus tax.

 

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Commentary: Red-Light Cameras Are Earning Their Keep
The Fayetteville Observer (North Carolina), Sept. 7, 2016

I have been down with the red-light cameras from Day One. There is something in the city’s DNA to where too many drivers feel they must try to beat out the stop lights. Or in some cases plain run them and hope it works out. … After a year of the cameras the numbers are in , and they are encouraging.

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Letter to the Editor: Too Often ‘Me’ Matters More than ‘We’
Lockport Union Sun & Journal (New York), Sept. 8, 2016

As the school year begins, we are reminded to stop for school buses and be mindful of children as they are crossing the road. In recent news reports, it was noted that cars passing stopped school buses has increasingly become a problem, so much so that some districts are planning to put cameras on the outside of the buses to help catch these offenders. I can’t help but wonder, “Is this what our world has come down to?” — a world where we are in such a hurry that we can’t take a minute to stop for a bus and potentially save a child’s life?

Letter: Speed Cameras Could Improve Safety
The Des Moines Register (Iowa), Sept. 7, 2016

Iowans who are concerned about the increasing fatalities on our highways can look no further than our governor and state legislators. The state refuses to support speed cameras that would stop some of the outrageous driving that occurs on the interstate system.

 

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“If you see some of the video of cars passing school buses when there are kids getting off and trying to walk across the street to get back home, it’s horrifying.”
Bill Nojay, New York State Assemblyman
WHEC-TV NBC 10 (New York), Sept. 8, 2016

 

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Washington
The Bethel School District estimates the number of drivers illegally passing stopped school buses has decreased from more than 100 a day before school bus stop arm cameras were installed to roughly three violations per day in the 18 months since cameras were installed. Source: KIRO-TV Channel 7, Sept. 5, 2016.

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