More stop arm cameras coming to Wake Co. buses

School bus stop arms
North Carolinians are passing stopped school buses at an alarming rate.

Wake County school buses will now be equipped with more cameras to catch drivers who are putting students at risk.

On Thursday, the school district demonstrated how the camera systems work to catch drivers who illegally pass a stopped bus. Multiple cameras attached to the bus capture video of a drivers who drive by while the stop arm is deployed.

In 2013, the General Assembly provided $1.38 million to expand the stop arm camera program statewide. The money provided two buses in nearly every county with stop arm cameras.

Wake County received additional funding from the N.C. Department of Public Instruction allowing the district to buy a total of 16 cameras. At least one bus in each of the Wake County Public School System’s transportation districts will now be equipped with a camera.

A recent study found that on any given day in North Carolina, more than 3,000 people illegally pass stopped school buses. Drivers who pass a stopped bus can face a $500 fine and five points on their driving record.

Law enforcement is hoping more cameras will help deter violators.

“They’re in a hurry to get to where they’re going, taking chances. And sooner or later, a kid is going to get killed,” Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said. “We can’t be everywhere, and any amount of tools we get to help us enforce the law and keep people safe, that’s what we’re looking for.”

WNCN is encouraging everyone to spread the word. Tell your friends, your family members, and most importantly talk to your kids. Spread the word on social media using #Brake4Buses. You could save a life.

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