SCHOOL BUS CAMERAS: A SOLUTION FOR A NON-PROBLEM
At first, school bus cameras sound like the perfect solution to a problem we didn't know we had. Upon further investigation, we see that it is nothing more than a ploy by the companies that sell these camera systems to invoke emotions and pretend to solve these alleged problems.
According to Childstats.gov, there are 45.7M children ages 6-17 in the US. If 50% ride a school bus to and from school, and with an average of 180 school days in a year, this means there are 16,452,000,000 (16.4 billion) total boardings and disembarkings per year. Other figures show that 26M children ride a school bus each day which adds up to 18.7 billion.
According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Report #812272, of the 1,191 people who died in school-bus related accidents between 2005 and 2014, only 111 (9.3%) were school-age pedestrians (under age 19), which is the group that school bus cameras allegedly protect. Additionally, the presence of a camera bolted onto the side of a bus would have done little, if anything, to prevent these tragedies.
This is because 64% of the children killed in school-bus related accidents over that time period were killed BY THE BUS, not by a passing motorist! Only 4 school-age children are lsited as having been killed by a vehicle overtaking a school bus. This is an extremely rare event! More children are killed by lightning or playing sports.
These programs are sold to public officials and the public with scary videos of cars passing stopped school buses to get emotions going. These systems are NEVER sold with actual data that shows this to be a cause of actual injuries or deaths to school children. Success of these programs is measured in citations issued, not an actual drop in the number of child injuries or deaths. Most tickets are issued to responsible drivers for minor technical violations such as not stopping at a specific distance and even to cars that aren't required to stop. Finally, school bus cameras cannot deter or stop drivers who pose the greatest risk: drivers who are inattentive, impaired, or responding to an emergency. The undeniable conclusion is that these programs have one goal: Revenue Generation.
School bus drivers can easily entrap motorists because motorists are expected to come to a screeching halt the second the sign is extended. We are aware of no guidelines or grace periods given to motorists to allow them to come to a complete stop when a sign is suddenly deployed. The motorist who received this violation below never had a chance to stop. A cop would have never issued a ticket.
The green Subaru reports getting this ticket for passing approx 1-2 seconds after sign is extended rather than coming to a screeching and physically impossible stop.
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