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School Bus Stop Safety Initiative

Letter from Superintendent Dr. Becky Berg

Dear Parents and Community Members,

Every school day in the United States, more than 70,000 motorists illegally pass school buses as they stop to let students on and off. This behavior endangers the lives of children, some of whom are no bigger than the backpacks they carry.

Marysville School District and the City of Marysville have teamed up to solve this issue by adopting a new technology to help our community address this growing problem and keep your children safe.

School buses in Marysville will now feature the CrossingGuard® school bus stop arm safety solution, which mounts purpose-built cameras on the side of each school bus. When the stop arm is deployed, the camera automatically detects a vehicle illegally passing the stop arm in either direction and captures video of the violation and still images of a vehicle‘s license plate. The violation video and license plate images are reviewed by the Marysville Police Department for approval prior to a citation being issued.

Our school bus safety camera program will begin on March 15. To help drivers get accustomed to this new technology, there will be a 30-day grace period where violators will receive a warning. After 30 days, fines will be issued. Tour this webpage for more information about school bus safety arm enforcement and other traffic safety issues.

By leveraging technology, we now have a proven solution to keep your children safe, because one child injured is one too many.

Let’s work together to encourage motorists in our community to obey the law and protect our children.

Dr. Becky Berg


How the System Works

Step 1: Video Cameras are installed at key locations on the exterior of the school bus.

Step 2: When a school bus extends its arm stop, the system can automatically detect if a vehicle passes the stopped school bus within the enforcement zone.

Step 3: If a vehicle passes the school bus, the cameras capture video showing the violating vehicle. 

Step 4: Violation data is then wirelessly uploaded to ATS' Axis Violation Process System for Validation, processing and notice issuance.

Step 5: The violation images extracted from the video include not only the violating vehicle as it passes the school bus, but also the vehicle's license plate and the school bus' extended stop arm. The Video of the violating vehicle is retained as further evidence of the violation. 

Step 6: A final review of the violation image and video is conducted by Marysville Police Department personnel, who will then approve or reject the violation.

Step 7: If the violation is approved, a citation is issues and mailed to the vehicle owner. 


Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 9, 2017

Marysville School District Partners with City of Marysville on School Bus Stop Arm Safety Initiative

Marysville, WA—Marysville School District and the City of Marysville will partner to deploy CrossingGuard®, American Traffic Solutions’ new technology to help school districts and communities address the growing problem of illegal passing of school buses that are stopped and boarding or disembarking children. In 2011, the Washington Legislature passed legislation to permit schools to equip their buses with video cameras to catch drivers who illegally drive by school buses when they stop to pick up or drop off students.

“Our goal is to educate and awaken drivers to the dangers of illegally passing school buses,” said Marysville School District Transportation Supervisor, Kim McAbee. “Some Washington drivers are not educated on school bus stop laws in our state and are unintentionally putting our students’ lives in danger. Keeping our children safe is our number one priority. We want to change driver behaviors in a positive way to protect the lives of the children who ride a school bus to and from school every day. This is an imperative safety need and we are proud to have this additional tool to help protect our children.”

The CrossingGuard® school bus arm safety solution, mounts purpose-built cameras on the side of the school bus. When the stop arm is deployed, the camera automatically detects a vehicle illegally passing the stop arm in either direction and captures video of the violation and still images of a vehicle‘s license plate.

The violation video and license plate images are then reviewed by law enforcement for approval prior to a citation being issued. In Washington, the penalty for a stop-arm violation will warrant the vehicle’s owner a $419 fine, and in some cases face a reckless driving charge.

The new CrossingGuard® technology will go in to effect on March 15. To help drivers get accustomed, there will be a grace period where offenders will receive a warning. Starting May 1, fines will be issued to violators.

“We are excited about this collaboration between the City of Marysville, Marysville School District and American Traffic Solutions,” said Marysville Police Sgt. Rick Sparr. “This new technology will, no doubt, enhance the safety of our roadways by protecting all of us--most importantly our most valued resource, our children.”

Additional information about the CrossingGuard®, ATS’ technology and answers to common questions can be found on the transportation page at www.msd25.org.

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About American Traffic Solutions:ATS is proud to be the market leader in road safety camera installations in North America. ATS has more than 3,200 installed red-light, speed and school bus stop arm safety cameras serving more than 30 million people. ATS is the largest school bus camera service provider in Georgia with contracts in Seattle, Highline, Bethel and Everett. For more information, visit www.crossing-guard.com.

About Marysville School DistrictThe Marysville School District seeks to engage our community, inspire our students, and prepare our graduates. It is our belief that every child in our community deserves the very best educational experience possible, and every child has the potential to achieve success in life if given the right tools to do so. Learn more at www.msd25.org.

CONTACT: Emily Wicks, Marysville School District
Communications and Community Relations Coordinator
360-965-0007,emily_wicks@msd25.org

CONTACT: Robb Lamoureux, City of Marysville
Police Commander, 360-363-8314, RLamoureux@marysvillewa.gov

CONTACT: Charles Territo, American Traffic Solutions
Senior Vice President of Communications, Marketing and Public Affairs, 480-443-7000, media@atsol.com


FAQs

Why has the Marysville School District Implemented a school bus stop arm safety camera program?

Today, parents have enough reasons to worry about their children’s safety—sending them to school should not be one of them. It is illegal and incredibly dangerous for a vehicle to pass a stopped school bus.

More than 400 children nationwide have been killed by drivers passing a topped school bus over the past four decades according to the Institute for Transportation Research and Education at NC State University. The goal of the program is to improve the safety and transportation of students riding school buses. We are committed to reducing violations, collisions and injuries to keep our community safe.

What is a school bus violation?

A school bus violation occurs when a motorist passes a school bus after the school bus has come to a complete stop with its stop arm extended and lights flashing.

Why is this type of enforcement needed?

  • Violations are automatically detected allowing the bus driver to focus on the precious cargo, school children.
  • Photo-enforcement systems serve as a force multiplier, allowing for continuous enforcement while law enforcement officials focus on other high-priority policing needs.
  • When a school bus stops and alternating red flashing lights are active, you must stop – It’s the law.

How does the school bus arm safety camera work?

Step 1: High-resolution cameras are installed at key locations on the exterior of the school bus.

Step 2: When a school bus extends its stop arm, the system can automatically detect if a vehicle passes the stopped school bus within the enforced zone.

Step 3: If a vehicle passes the school bus, the cameras capture images and video showing the violating vehicle.

Step 4: The violation images include not only the violating vehicle as it passes the school bus, but also the vehicle’s license plate and the school bus’ extended stop arm. The system also records a video of the violating vehicle as further evidence of the violation.

Step 5: Violation data and images are then wirelessly uploaded to ATS’ Axsis™ Violation Processing System for validation, processing and notice issuance.

Step 6: A final review of the violation image and video is conducted by law enforcement personnel, who then will approve or reject the violation.

How are bus routes selected?

School District officials work with local police to determine the frequency of illegal stop-arm passing. In many cases, District officials have been made aware of dangerous driving habits that impact the safety of our children as they enter and exit school buses. 

How much is the fine?

Violators will be assessed a $419 penalty. This is a civil penalty, no points will be assessed, no reporting to insurance companies.

What do I do if I have received a notice?

Please visit www.violationinfo.com and log on with the information provided on the notice. There are also detailed instructions on the back side of the notice.


SCHOOL BUS SAFETY FACTS

By the Minute…

Traffic crashes cause injuries and deaths every day. The following 2014 statistics paint a picture of the terrible consequences of disregarding our traffic safety laws.

  • 29,989 fatal crashes in the United States, one every 17.6 minutes, claiming 32,675 lives.
  • 9,262 fatalities in speeding-related crashes a year, one every 57 minutes
  • A pedestrian is killed in a traffic crash every 108 minutes, totaling 4,884 persons
  • A pedestrian is injured in a traffic crash every 8.1 minutes, totaling 65,000
  • 21,022 passenger vehicle occupants died in crashes, one every 25 minutes.

Marysville School District keeps their community safe by utilizing this life-saving technology. Our school bus stop arm safety cameras make sure our kids arrive to and from school safely.

Every day, for some 26 million students nationwide, the school day begins and ends with a trip on a school bus. Unfortunately, each year many children are injured and several are killed in school bus incidents.

  • The National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services recently estimated more than 96,000 school bus drivers counted 74,421 vehicles as they illegally passed their stopped school buses in a single day. Throughout a 180-day school year, these sample results point to more than 13 million violations among America’s motoring public.
  • Nearly 4,700 students ride one of the district’s 105 school buses on 92 routes each day. We want each and every one of them to arrive at their destinations safely.
  • Our school bus stop-arm program addresses the growing problem of school bus stop arm passing with a camera system that automatically detects if a vehicle passes the stopped school bus while the stop arm is extended. Images and video capture the entire violation event and are provide to law enforcement with the evidence they need to effectively prosecute these violations.
  • In 2015, an estimated 16 million vehicles passed school buses illegally. Keep our children safe as they head to and from school and always STOP for the school bus stop arm!
  • School bus stop arm safety is important to Marysville Schools. That is why we have implemented a School Bus Stop Arm Safety Camera Program. Unfortunately motorists disregard the stop arm too often putting our children at risk. Learn one of the many reasons we chose to implement this program by viewing this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSQMIxYjGaI
  • Did you know? Passing vehicles are responsible for 39 percent of all student bus loading and unloading fatalities? STOP for the school bus stop arm!
  • 99 percent of drivers who received and paid one ticket for illegally passing a school bus did not receive a second. STOP for the school bus stop arm!