'CrossSafe' will use cameras to record motorists who do not stop for school buses.
A new program to help keep Frederick County public school students safe will begin on August 27th, the first day of school. "CrossSafe," an initiative launched by the School System, Sheriff's Office and Xerox, will try to catch people who do not stop for school buses when they're picking up or dropping off children.
Cameras will be installed on school buses and will record such activities as "ignoring the flashing lights on a school bus, ignoring the stop sign, running by a school bus that's picking up students on the way to school or on the way home," says Michael Doerrer, Director of Community Engagement and Marketing for the Frederick County School System.
It's always been illegal for motorists to pass a school bus which has activated its red lights and stop arm, but catching these drivers has been a problem. "Without CrossSafe, bus driers must record violations manually--a nearly impossible feat while trying to simultaneously prevent a student from stepping into the path of a driver," says Mark Talbot, group president Americas--Local Government Xerox,in a statement. "CrossSafe allows bus drivers to focus on what matters most, the children's safety."
The camera will record the offending motorist's license plate number, and a $125 citation will be sent to the registered owner.
But Doerrer says the main reason for the program is student safety. "The Sheriff's Office is coming at this, appropriately, from the angle of law enforcement and enforcing the laws that are on the books to protect our students, to protect our buses. Our only concern as the school system is to making sure our buses get to school safe and get home safe," he says.
Xerox will provide the technology and software, and process the violations.
Frederick County is the first in Maryland to install enforcement systems on school buses.