School Districts around Oneida County now have an opportunity to equip their school buses with swing arm stop signs and cameras. Oneida County is entering a multi-year contract with smart transportation provider Verra Mobility, who will be providing the equipment. Oneida County Sheriff Rob Maciol says there’s many school districts interested in participating in the program.
"They’ve got all the systems, it’s just a matter of where are we putting them and when, so you know 2021 is only a couple months away, so I anticipate this right after the holidays getting into full swing. Again we’re not going to get a true picture of how effective this is until we go post-COVID."
The cameras work as a deterrent to violators who will be hit with a hefty fine, but school districts have to take the first step in getting the gear installed.
"The school districts now have to go through their process…I mean here we are, we’re already at October, so the school districts are going to…their board of educations that want to partake in this, there is a process they have to go through."
Taxpayers will not be hit with the expense of the equipment. Those convicted will pay for it through the fines. The penalties range from • First violation - penalty of $250
• Second violation within 18 months - penalty of $275
• Third violation (or more) within 18 months - penalty of $300
Motorists breaking the law do not get points on their driver’s license, or penalized by their insurance company. Pre-COVID numbers indicate an average of around fifty thousand cars a day pass stopped school buses just in the State of New York.
"A lot of schools are virtual, and the hybrid model is half and half, so you certainly don’t have the volume of kids on the road, but you still have the volume of buses on the road."
The best way to avoid getting a fine is knowing when to stop. If you’re on the same ROAD as the bus when the stop sign is out, you have to stop.