AllentownSchool District

BusPatrol Announces Results of ASD Stop Arm Camera Pilot Program

BusPatrol Announces Results of ASD Stop Arm Camera Pilot Program
Posted on 01/30/2020
BusPatrol’s ongoing mission to secure and modernize school buses across America continues as Allentown School District completes its 47 school-day pilot project to collect data on the ongoing problem of Stop-Arm violations in Pennsylvania. The results of the pilot identified 205 total violations in 21 unique locations across Allentown over 47 school days. The two participating buses captured an average of 2.18 violations per bus per day.

On Thursday, January 30, the Allentown School District hosted a press conference to officially announce the results of this pilot. 
“Every single child has the right to be safe, and it’s our responsibility as a community to provide that safety” says Jean Souliere, CEO of BusPatrol. “This starts with protecting them on their journey to and from school. BusPatrol and Zonar Systems have created the safest, most technologically advanced school bus safety platform on the planet by integrating all aspects of route management, fleet management and stop-arm enforcement, all at no cost to school districts.” 
For ten weeks, two school buses in the Allentown fleet were outfitted with the Stop-Arm Cameras, GPS/Telemetry and connected to an encrypted LTE wireless network that sends and receives video and data. BusPatrol processed video evidence and data on Stop-Arm violations in Allentown. A team of processors and data scientists evaluated the problem to prepare recommendations to the Allentown School District administrators.
Last December a driver was sentenced for killing three children in a Stop-Arm violation in Fulton, Indiana. This follows a string of incidents in 2018-2019 were fourteen children under the age of ten were killed across America. The three siblings were struck when the school bus lights were flashing, and the school bus Stop-Arm was extended. The convicted driver was sentenced to four years in prison. The tragedy highlights the need for a profound change in driving culture.
 “Motorists need to learn to pay attention to school buses and proceed with care and caution in their presence,” explains Souliere. “Only when people are consistently held accountable for their careless behavior, in every neighborhood, will the culture change. Equipping every school bus with World-Class Safety Technology is the first step”

“In an urban district where many of our students walk to and from school, the stop arm camera pilot provides an extra layer of safety for our students and families. As a parent, I am excited for how these efforts will raise community awareness and subsequently a shared responsibility that benefits the students and families in Allentown.” said Allentown School District Superintendent Thomas Parker. “I applaud Senator Browne and Representative Schlossberg for their support of the ASD Strategic Framework, where we are committed to a culture of student safety as a district priority.”

State Senator Pat Browne (R-16 District) and State Representative Mike Schlossberg (D-132 House District) in Pennsylvania have been working on the problem for several years and were the authors of the legislative changes that would enhance policy enforcement capabilities.

“We have heard all too often from countless parents about drivers flagrantly ignoring Pennsylvania’s school bus stop arm law and endangering our children. Now, we have definitive and quantifiable figures on just how shockingly prevalent this problem has become,” Senator Pat Browne said. “The safety of our students traveling to and from school is our overriding priority and we must employ any reasonable measure necessary to ensure their safety and motorist compliance with the law.”

“We knew there was a real safety problem for our children and the data shows it is pretty big,” said Schlossberg.  “I look forward to working with Allentown and Pennsylvania officials to help make enforcement of Pennsylvania’s laws more effective so we can keep our kids safe.”  

BusPatrol and Zonar have an exclusive partnership that ensures every Allentown student will be protected by a cutting-edge suite of technology and police-led enforcement management infrastructure. In addition to stop-arm cameras, BusPatrol can install and implement sideload, interior and rearview cameras, as well as DVR, GPS, Telemetry and Cellular Connectivity technology. After the pilot period, the program will be made available to all school buses in Pennsylvania school districts at no cost. 

Zonar’s full suite of technology will be implemented, which includes Student Manifests, Zonar V4, Electronic Vehicle Inspection Reporting (EVIR®), Ground Traffic Control® (GTC) "Drive” and  Zonar Z Pass™ to log and verify all student passengers are accounted for and where they need to be. The safety package brings parents and caretakers closer to kids. Every bus in the fleet will also be equipped with a Samsung Galaxy Tablet which includes advanced diagnostics to monitor the health of the bus and its passengers with real-time support of its driver.
Once a program is implemented, ticket processing and program management will be handled by BusPatrol, all at no cost to Allentown. This is made possible through BusPatrol’s enforcement program that re-invests fines paid by violators to cover equipment and management costs. Similar Programs are currently changing driving behavior in School Districts across, Maryland, Virginia and Georgia, while new programs are being launched in New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Ontario and Quebec. 
BusPatrol will be actively working with officials from the Allentown School District and local law enforcement to determine Route Planning, Redistricting, Fleet Maintenance, Real-time Analysis, and Financial Analytics to offer the safest and most cost-efficient method to transport to students based on this pilot. With a data-driven approach, BusPatrol is working with the Allentown community and police to offer a program that proactively mitigates ongoing safety risks that children face every day on busy Pennsylvania roads.
Full video of the press conference is available on the ASD Facebook Page: