An ordinance to that affect was adopted Tuesday by the Commissioners.
Monitoring cameras will soon be installed on Frederick County school buses. The Commissioners on Tuesday night approved an ordinance authorizing that. It takes affect immediately, but a vendor will need to be chosen before the cameras are actually placed on the buses and put into operation.
Authorization to install the monitoring cameras was part of the Commissioners' 2011 Legislative Package, but local State Senator David Brinkley and other legislators introduced a bill to allow the practice statewide.
The cameras would record motorists who drive their vehicles passed a school bus if its red lights are flashing and its stop arm has been extended. That means it's taking on or letting off school children. Violators could be issued a citation, and could face fines of up to $250. "The citation is issued to the owner of the vehicle, and likely, you'd receive a notice of that violation through mail," says County Attorney John Mathias, who briefed the Commissioners on that ordinance on Tuesday night. He says the fine will be set by the District Court.
Leslie Pellegrino, the Executive Director of Fiscal Services for the school system, says the purpose of the cameras is to make it safe for students to board and get off the bus. "We hope we issue no citations," she says. "Our goal is that we would like to think that all children are boarding in a very, very safe environment."
Pellegrino also says the school system will receive none of the revenue from the cameras. Instead, it will be sent to the vendor who installs and maintains the cameras, and the county government.