Queen Anne’s County Public Schools and the Office of the Sheriff are proud to announce a new partnership with BusPatrol. All 112 school buses in the school district’s fleet are now equipped with advanced safety technology including cloud-connected stop-arm cameras to capture drivers that illegally pass stopped school buses.
Every day, more than 7,400 students ride the school bus to and from school in Queen Anne’s County, traveling almost 11,000 miles. Stop-arm violations present a real danger to these students.
In 2019, there were 6,388 stop-arm violations recorded in just one day in Maryland, according to the NASDPTS annual stop-arm survey. This equates to more than 1 million stop-arm violations a year in Maryland.
Drivers that break the law and pass a school bus with its stop-arm extended can expect to receive a $250 citation in the mail. Violation revenue will be used to fund the installation and maintenance of the equipment, as well as awareness campaigns to educate communities on safer driving practices.
Thanks to the partnership, school buses have been outfitted with additional safety technology and smart fleet management solutions from BusPatrol and Zonar at zero cost to the school district, municipality, or taxpayer.
Queen Anne County’s entire school district fleet is now equipped with:
- Stop-arm enforcement cameras
- LTE connectivity, telemetry and GPS
- Additional school bus safety features benefiting all student riders:
- Cloud-connected interior cameras and safety cameras for school officials
- Student rider visibility
- Real-time in-cab driver coaching
- Electronic verified inspection reporting of school buses
Speaking about the new safety program, Sheriff Gary Hofmann said: “I am hopeful that this program will educate our county residents and that drivers will not illegally pass a school bus with its lights flashing and stop-arm extended. This program is for the safety of our kids getting to and from school and even one illegal passing of a school bus is too much!”
Margaret Ellen Kalmanowicz, Supervisor of Transportation at Queen Anne’s County Public Schools, states that: “The global pandemic has had a huge impact on anyone working in student transportation. While buses have been off roads, we’ve been working hard to implement new programs and technology like BusPatrol which will improve the health, safety, and wellbeing of students in our school district.
“Drivers illegally passing school buses has been a problem for years and our bus drivers are delighted to now have their buses fully equipped with stop-arm cameras and safety tech. We are proud to announce the launch of this safety program in Queen Anne’s.”
Jean Souliere, CEO of BusPatrol, said: “As school buses return to roads after a brief hiatus, it’s important that drivers remember to slow down and stop whenever they see a stopped school bus in Queen Anne’s County. It could be your child stepping off or onto the bus that day, and every child deserves to get to school safely. Our safety program changes driver behavior and creates a culture of awareness around the school bus. We know that this works because more than 95% of first-time violators do not receive a second ticket. We’re proud to partner with Queen Anne’s County to prioritize student safety on the road.”