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School Bus Cameras Beget Illegal Passing Citations

More motorists are being fined for illegally passing school buses because of a new program.

Motorists in Stratford are increasingly getting ticketed for illegally passing school buses since a new program launched last October designed to deter such action.

From November 2012 through January 2013, Stratford police issued 46 illegal passing citations, compared to just five during the 10-month span January 2012 through October 2012, police tell the Stratford Star.

Stratford entered into a contract with SmartBus during a Town Council meeting in October after a company representative outlined the program to town officials.

SmartBus pays for the installation of the cameras (three per bus), and monitors the video live, explained Alfred Cardi. The program comes at no cost to the town, save for the time it takes police officers to review video complaints on SmartBus's website before issuing a citation, if they feel one is warranted.

Violators are slapped with a $465 fine (set by Connecticut state statutes, according to a school official), with $125 going to the town, Cardi said.

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"We're trying to change the behavior [of offending motorists] by creating a deterrent," he said. "This is not about traffic, this is about keeping kids safe."

The program started as a pilot and is now operating on five public school buses in the district, according to the Star. At the October meeting, Cardi said the buses already outfitted with the equipment were averaging at least one violation per day.

Twenty to 50 percent of the district's buses could be rigged, depending on what studies and analysis reveal about traffic patterns, the SmartBus representative said.

Jason Bagley February 07, 2013 at 04:10 PM
"The anguish of having to pay the ticket pales in comparison to the anguish caused by an accident. That anguish will affect more than one family," comments Mark Hannon on the Stratford Patch Facebook page. Visit and "like" our page: http://www.facebook.com/StratfordPatch
Tom February 07, 2013 at 10:40 PM
It's all about anguish I guess. How about the stiff fine of $50 for "Blacklisting" people in this state from employment? What a joke... http://www.ctdol.state.ct.us/wgwkstnd/laws-regs/statute31-51.htm
Tom February 07, 2013 at 11:33 PM
Man, I just uploaded a picture of what drivers are confronted with when they turn from Nichols Road onto Marina Drive this time of year at about 3:00 PM. It's an amzing view, I just hope it's not a danger for people going too fast or anything. The buses that stop just at the corner should be careful, speeding drivers might not see them-- or anything else at that matter.
Concerned Person December 25, 2013 at 07:52 AM
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