LEE COUNTY, Fla.- Cracking down on drivers who break the rules. Lee County's school buses have cameras on the inside. And now? They're getting cameras on the outside. The school district hopes these small additions could mean big safety improvements for your children.
The cameras will be installed on two sections of the bus: on the front stop arm, and the back stop arm. That's to catch cars coming towards the bus, as well as leaving.
Stop when the red lights flash. It's something you probably learned in Driver's Ed. But the Lee County School District is putting the breaks on drivers who don't obey: thanks to some help from a company called Red Flex.
"To identify people that tend to run stop arms," said Robert Morgan, Executive Dir. of Transportation Services for the school district. Morgan says red flex contacted the county about launching a pilot program.
The company. he says, would foot the bill to install cameras on the outside of some of the district's more than 700 school buses. They'll capture license plates just like the cameras at a stoplight. "Give us a good idea of how often people are violating the stop arms on the school bus," Morgan said.
As soon as the cameras are installed, he'll talk with local law enforcement about using the video to ticket people who don't behave.
That resonates well with parents like Mendy Hawkins. "I lost my son in 2011 to a irresponsible driver and I think that anything we can do as a community to protect our children and prevent anything from happening is wonderful," she said.
"If you're not doing anything wrong, you haven't got anything to worry about," said another Lee County resident.
If all goes according to plan the installation of the new cameras should begin in March.