School district using cameras to catch bus stop sign violators


Elgin Local Schools have installed cameras to the outside of their buses to catch people who are driving past and ignoring the buses’ stop signals.

School officials said they decided to take that step to prevent its students from getting injured. 

“I want the community to know; number one we have these cameras,” said Shannon Downing who is the transportation director. “We’re watching you. We want you to stop.”

Each bus is equipped with a camera that cost more than $500, but drivers are still blowing past buses with their stop signals on according to Downing.

“We are actually at 29 for the school year so far which is a phenomenal number for us,” said Downing. “We didn’t even have maybe even a handful last year.”

They’re not even halfway through the school year.

“It’s scary,” said Downing. 

The cameras give the district and bus drivers some assistance.

“I hear them talking about a driver ran the reds,” said bus mechanic Tom Myers. 

Myers hears all the violations on his two-way radio.

He suggested the cameras be implemented and said the old way of reporting a violation was too much for drivers.

“The driver has to know the time of day, location, description of the driver, description of the vehicle, and the license plate number,” said Myers. 

Now after someone drives through their stop signal, it’s recorded and images of the license plate, along with a report from the bus driver are sent to the state patrol who can issue a ticket.

Their reason for this system is simple: Keeping the nearly 1,000 kids who use the bus service safe.

“It’s just a matter of trying to eliminate that potential danger,” said Myers. 

Downing said this is a measure they decided to take to deter people not to penalize everyone because they understand children’s lives are at risk. 

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