Noblesville Schools hoping to educate drivers, adding more stop arm cameras to buses

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NOBLESVILLE, Ind. —  After a successful pilot program, Noblesville Schools is adding more cameras on its school buses in an effort to educate reckless drivers.

According to Noblesville Police, an average of 3-4 drivers received a citation each week last school year for passing a stopped school bus.

“We see multiple violations every day,” said Brian Zachary, Director of Transportation for Noblesville Schools.

Now, just three weeks into this ’21-’22 school year, Zachary is hoping to reverse that trend.

“It’s not just on main roads. It’s not just in the areas you would think. We see [multiple violations] in neighborhoods,” said Zachary.

That is why Noblesville Schools decided to increase the number of stop-arm cameras installed on its fleet. Originally only on a dozen buses, high-definition cameras are now on 48 of their 100 buses used for school routes daily.

“We’re actually able to get a license plate, and get a picture of that [plate], even if it’s night out or even in inclement weather,” Zachary said.

Zachary explained the cameras automatically turn on when drivers start their engines. Using a button behind the wheel, bus drivers can then mark when a violation occurs. That footage is then downloaded and reviewed by district officials before being sent to the Noblesville Police Department’s Traffic Unit.

“If they believe then, ‘yes that is in fact a violation,’ they look up that information via the license plate that was captured and then they go and issue a ticket to that driver,” said Deputy Chief Shane Ginnan with Noblesville Police.

Police said drivers who pass an extended stop arm could face a hefty fine starting at a minimum of $171. Deputy Chief Ginnan said the goal of these new cameras is not to issue more tickets, but rather educate drivers.

“Obviously our goal is always voluntary compliance. We want everybody to just obey the law,” said Deputy Chief Ginnan. “It’s really important to look for the buses, look for the lights, and pay attention.”

“If everybody knows we have this technology maybe they’ll think a little harder about stopping for a school bus,” said Zachary.

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