The Austin school district this month begins its School Bus Stop-Arm Safety Camera program, which will use bus-mounted video cameras to catch drivers who illegally pass a school bus.
The district has 522 buses, which take about 22,000 students on 390 bus routes daily. About 300 buses, or 57 percent of the district’s fleet, are mounted with the video cameras near the stop arm of the buses.
The cameras begin recording once the bus stops. Those videos will be reviewed by the Austin school district police, and the owners of vehicles that are recorded illegally passing a stopped bus will receive a $300 ticket by mail. Drivers will get mailed warning notices for the first month.
The school district contracted with Arizona-based American Traffic Solutions, which will keep 60 percent of the ticket revenues. The remaining revenues will go to the district.
Similar ticketing programs have been enacted by the San Marcos, Elgin and Eanes school districts. In San Marcos, officials issued 1,100 tickets in the first year of the program. The vendor keeps 60 percent of the ticket revenue; the city and the school district made about $15,000 in ticket revenue each.