Half of Stratford's school buses could soon be outfitted with exterior cameras designed to catch motorists who illegally pass at school bus stops.
The Stratford Town Council Tuesday entered into an agreement with a company called SmartBus. The contract is at no cost to the town. In fact, the town ends up making money.
Violators are subject to a $465 fine, with about $125 of that going to the town, a portion allocated to the state and the rest to SmartBus, company representative Alfred Cardi explained to Town Council members.
Cardi said SmartBus pays for the installation of the cameras (three per bus), and monitors the video live. One person is responsible for 16 buses, he said.
"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."
Twenty to 50 percent of the school district’s buses could be outfitted, depending on what studies and analysis reveal about traffic patterns, said Cardi, adding that SmartBus already has cameras on three of the district's buses, and those buses are averaging 1 to 1.2 violations per day per bus.
However, it'll be up to the Stratford Police Department to enforce the violation and issue the tickets, Cardi said. Officers log on to the SmartBus website, view the video and decide whether the violation is warranted.
Do you think the town made a "smart" decision for its buses and students? Tell us in the comments.