Queen Anne’s County Public Schools and the Office of the Sheriff have partnered with BusPatrol to implement a new stop-arm safety program to improve student safety! All 112 school buses in the school district’s fleet are now equipped with advanced safety technology cloud-connected stop-arm cameras to capture drivers that illegally pass stopped school buses.
Every day, more than 7,400 students ride the school bus to and from school in Queen Anne’s County. Stop-arm violations present a real danger to these students. In 2019, there were 6,388 stop-arm violations recorded in just one day in Maryland, according to the NASDPTS annual stop-arm survey. This equates to more than 1 million stop-arm violations a year in Maryland. Just one violation can cost a life.
To change driver behavior around school buses and safeguard students in Queen Anne’s County, all school buses have been equipped with stop-arm enforcement technology such as external stop-arm cameras to capture drivers that illegally pass stopped school buses. Drivers that break the law and pass a school bus with its stop-arm extended can expect to receive a $250 citation in the mail. Violation revenue will be used to fund the installation and maintenance of the equipment, as well as awareness campaigns to educate communities on safer driving practices.
Thanks to the partnership, school buses have been outfitted with additional safety technology and smart fleet
management solutions from BusPatrol and Zonar at zero cost to the school district, municipality, or taxpayer.
Queen Anne’s County’s entire school district is now equipped with:
● Stop-arm enforcement cameras
● LTE connectivity, telemetry, and GPS
● Cloud-connected interior cameras and safety cameras for school officials
● Student rider visibility
● Real-time in-cab driver coaching
● Electronic verified inspection reporting of school buses
Speaking about the new safety program, Sheriff Gary Hofmann is “hopeful that this program will educate our county residents and that drivers will not illegally pass a school bus with its lights flashing and stop-arm extended. This program is for the safety of our kids getting to and from school and even one illegal passing of a school bus is too much.” Margaret Ellen Kalmanowicz, Supervisor of Transportation at Queen Anne’s County Public Schools, states that “The global pandemic has had a huge impact on anyone working in student transportation. While buses have been off roads, we’ve been working hard to implement new programs and technology like BusPatrol which will improve the health, safety, and wellbeing of students in our school district. Drivers illegally passing school buses has been a problem for years and our bus drivers are delighted to now have their buses fully equipped with stop-arm cameras and safety tech. We are proud to announce the launch of this safety program in Queen Anne’s.”
Jean Souliere, CEO of BusPatrol, said: “As school buses return to roads after a brief hiatus, it’s important that drivers remember to slow down and stop whenever they see a stopped school bus in Queen Anne’s County. It could be your child stepping off or onto the bus that day, and every child deserves to get to school safely. Our safety program changes driver behavior and creates a culture of awareness around the school bus. We know that this works because more than 95% of first-time violators do not receive a second ticket. We’re proud to partner with Queen Anne’s County to prioritize student safety on the road.” For more information on BusPatrol and its safety program, please visit: www.buspatrol.com.