ST. PAUL, Minn. — Schools and bus companies across Minnesota have been given $3.5 million in grant money to outfit school buses with stop-arm cameras.
The Minnesota Legislature has awarded the grants to 32 schools and bus companies to purchase and install the cameras, as well as buy supporting software programs.
According to the state Department of Transportation, Minnesota was seeing more than 1,000 stop-arm violations a year before the coronavirus hit and altered busing schedules. Adding the cameras will lead law enforcement to the violators.
State law requires motorists to stop when a school bus driver extends a stop arm and activates flashing lights. The law applies to motorists both in front of the bus and behind it.
Mike Hanson, the director of MnDOT’s Office of Traffic Safety, calls the grants “a significant effort to keep kids safe, hold selfish or inattentive drivers accountable, and change dangerous driving choices.”
“For a parent, the thought of losing a child to a vehicle blowing past an extended school bus stop arm is unthinkable,” Hanson said in his agency’s news release. “Yet we see too many drivers who are distracted or place their priorities over the safety of our youngest Minnesotans.”
Among those receiving funding is Minnesota Coaches, which serves schools in Ramsey, Dakota, Hennepin, St. Louis and Houston counties.
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