The first day of school for Austin students is around the corner, which means the district’s yellow school buses will soon be back on the road. So will the bus-mounted video cameras used to monitor whether drivers are being safe around them.
The cameras begin recording when buses stop. Videos of the violators are reviewed by the Austin school district police, and $300 tickets are sent to the owners of the vehicles that are caught illegally passing the stopped bus.
Here’s a by the numbers breakdown of four months of enforcement during the second semester of the 2016-17 school year:
- More than 500 buses take 22,000 students on 390 bus routes each day.
- More than 6,600 tickets were mailed to drivers accused of illegally passing Austin school buses before the summer break.
- About $818,000 in revenue has come in since Austin’s School Bus Stop-Arm Safety Camera program launched. Arizona-based American Traffic Solutions mounted the cameras and keeps 60 percent of the ticket revenue. The district keeps the rest, netting $326,982.
- In San Marcos, bus cameras led to 1,100 tickets in the first year. The Eanes and Elgin school districts have similar programs.