Bensalem school buses have new 360-degree cameras in effort to keep kids safer

As kids head back to school, one school district is putting new technology on buses to keep students safe. Everyone knows when the stop sign comes out and the lights are flashing, a person is required to stop. In Bensalem, they’ve equipped 360-degree cameras on every single school bus, so anyone violating the stop sign will be caught.

"It’s a great thing for Bensalem! No cost to taxpayers and a feature that stands to keep our kids safer than they were before. We’re proud of it," stated Bensalem School District Superintendent Dr. Samuel Lee.

Anyone driving past a stopped bus in Bensalem with its stop sign out and lights flashing better get ready to pay up. A new camera system, tasked at recording moving violations during school bus stops will soon go into effect.

The technology is installed and employed by the private company Bus Patrol and won’t cost the taxpayers of Bensalem a dime.

"This project is solely funded by the violators and that’s very important. We’re combining education with enforcement and that’s the first step today," Bensalem Public Safety Director William McVey said.

The school district has seen its cases of tragedy involving vehicles disobeying a stopped bus. Back in 2014, an 18-year-old driver hit and killed a 16-year-old student crossing the street. That bus had its stop sign out and safety lights on.

The district says the effort is all about preventing such tragedies. "We’re looking at, right now, a significant increase in enforcement and what that’ll lead to over time. We’re all hopeful for deterrence. People eventually will realize, ‘I can’t go through that stop sign.’ The drivers will stop," McVey explained.

The tech works by saving all footage recorded to a cloud server.

The ticket for blowing past a school bus stop sign is $300 and is considered a civil ticket, but it’s not limited to that, officials say.

"If you have an egregious violation, if you do something that’s out of the ordinary, rather than just roll the stop sign, the police department reviews every violation Bus Patrol records, so we can always still issue that more enhanced violation," McVey added.

Students head back to the classroom August 29th and every bus will be equipped with the new safety cameras.