School board approves of cameras on school buses
Published 6:00 pm Friday, April 21, 2017
LaGRANGE- The Troup County Schools Transportation Department held a media day Friday morning at the Service Center to announce it just recently approved of cameras being installed in the stop arms on school buses in Troup County. The Troup County School System is partnering with Gatekeepers Systems, Inc. for this new addition.
Gatekeepers Systems, Inc. is a company that focuses on providing cart-based technology solutions and products for customers globally. Gatekeeper provides innovative, end-to-end video safety and security solutions for mobile applications including body cameras, in-car police video systems, school bus video and stop-arm camera video enforcement systems, transit bus video systems, and airborne digital recording systems for military applications.
“Last year we did a survey — a one-day survey — of illegal passings on our school buses and countywide we had 78 illegal passings,” said Dr. Jeff Turner, director of Transportation of Troup County Schools. “So we then realized there was a problem and we wanted to eliminate that the best we can. We partnered with Gatekeeper and they have come in at no cost for us to put in the systems.”
“I think this is extremely important because it’s about the safety of the kids, “said Troup County Sheriff James Woodruff. “That’s the main concern and the main push behind this. It’s about the safety of the children getting on and off the buses. We want people to be very aware that the State Patrol is going be out there and these cameras are on the buses for a reason.”
When a vehicle passes a bus, automatically the stop arm is deployed. The camera will then take a picture and a video of the vehicle that is illegally passing and that information will be uploaded to the sheriff’s office. When the sheriff’s office receives the camera violation, the information will be reviewed by a deputy and if the violation is valid, it will be sent to Gatekeeper and they will issue the citation. The person will then have to pay the citation.
“This has been a year-long planning process and we just got to this point,” said Turner. “We’re going to roll it out and go live on Monday. We just got the camera systems installed a couple of weeks ago and we’re testing it this week.”
The State of Georgia passed a law several years ago that issued that the first violation will be a fine of $300. The second violation will be $750. The third violation will be $1,000.
“Every vehicle has to stop when the stop arm comes out, unless it’s a grass median or cement barrier,” said Turner. “We would love to get the number of illegal passings to zero in Troup County.”
If you have any questions or concerns of what constitutes as a violation of the law when it comes to stopping when the stop arm comes up, call Turner at 706-812-7935 or Woodruff at 706-883-1616.
Shirttail- Reach James Simpson II at 706-884-7311, ext. 2155, or by email at email@example.com