Redflex takes aim at violators of school bus stop arms - New York News

Redflex takes aim at violators of school bus stop arms

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PHOENIX -

They're all over the valley. Red light cameras and speed cameras catching traffic violators on the streets. They've been the source of controversy and anger. And now the valley company behind these cameras is rolling out new technology.

The system is free to school districts. The company makes its money by taking about 50 percent of the cost of the ticket, but they say the system basically pays for itself. It snaps pictures of any car passing the school bus stop arm.

It's the law. Drivers must stop when school bus stop arm start flashing. But countless cars go around the sign anyway. Now Redflex, the Phoenix-based company behind the red light cameras, wants to catch drivers ignoring the bus stop signs with these cameras mounted onto school buses- - snapping pictures of violators and issuing costly tickets.

"This particular product offering has widespread social and political acceptance," says Thomas O'Connor, president of "Student Guardian" at Redflex.

The system is already in nine states -- potentially covering nearly 100,000 school buses. But it's not in Arizona. Lawmakers would first have to pass legislation here allowing the system -- and that means more cameras monitoring cars on the streets.

"That would not be a good idea not a good idea at all, that's way too much," says Agnes Mbano.

The cameras on either side of this device are designed to focus in on the license plate. What the cameras don't get is the driver behind the wheel.

"Of those nine states that have enabled legislation around school bus passings, they have created language that says the registered owner is the responsible party," O'Connor says.

If the owner wasn't the one driving, they can put the blame on the correct person. Still, if no one else takes responsibility, it's like a parking ticket. The citation goes to the registered owner.

"I have a 5-year-old daughter. I think that's a pretty good idea actually, will I probably get caught in it? There's a small possibility," says parent Lincoln Green.

"The goal would be to have every single bus outfitted long term but that's going to take a heck of a long time," says O'Connor.

Again there aren't any of these school bus cameras in Arizona. The company does say however they are working with some districts in Arizona on pilot programs -- but they won't say at this time who they are working with.

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