Gwinnett County, GA - Warnings are now being issued to motorists who fail to stop for school buses in Gwinnett County.
So far 200 of the district’s school buses are equipped with new stop-arm cameras that easily show both photos and videos of violators.
The cameras operate when motion is detected once the stop-arms are out. The images are captured, including the tag, and then sent to Gwinnett County School Police.
Jennifer Presley is among more than a half dozen officers trained on how determine if a violation has occurred.
“I check each still footage and make sure the tag still matches, and then I play the video,” she tells WSB’s Sandra Parrish.
Even if a motorist is shown passing when the stop-arm is out, Presley takes into account the amount of time the red lights are flashing and the weather conditions. And any with a median in the roadway are rejected.
In the last week Presley has been viewing the images, she’s determined 65 percent have violated the law while 35 percent have not.
School district spokesperson Sloan Roach says warnings are being issued now to make sure motorists are aware of the cameras. But citations will be issued come January when students return from Christmas break.
“It’s a law that people should be following whether there’s a stop-arm camera on a bus or not, and primarily just because it’s for the safety of our students,” she says.
When installation is complete, 300 school buses with routes in every cluster will have the cameras.
And the citations aren’t cheap. The first violation runs $300, $750 for the second, and $1,000 for the third and subsequent offenses.