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Norwalk Considers External Video Cameras On School Buses

The Norwalk Board of Education is considering placing external video cameras on the city's school buses to catch people who do not stop to allow students to board buses.
The Norwalk Board of Education is considering placing external video cameras on the city's school buses to catch people who do not stop to allow students to board buses. Photo Credit: Alfred Branch

NORWALK, Conn. – In a move to catch motorists who do not stop for students who are boarding buses, the city is considering adding external video cameras on school buses to catch violators.

The cameras would be mounted outside of the bus “to record and monitor traffic for live monitoring of school bus stop arm violations,” according the draft of an agreement between the city and First Student Inc., Norwalk’s school bus operator.

Though plans currently call for external cameras, the agreement would also allow for the possible future installation of internal cameras to monitor activity inside the bus, too. The footage could be archived or transmitted directly to the Norwalk Police Department.

According to Board of Education Chairman Michael Lyons, the idea for external monitors has been board’s radar for months “to catch people who run through the flashing red lights of a stopped school bus, a serious safety concern.”

The project would not cost the city any money to install, and in fact it could generate a small amount of revenue to the city.

“There is no cost to us; the contractor installs and operates the cameras, and gets a cut of the fines generated when people are ticketed for running the lights,” said Lyons, adding that currently such fines are “substantial,” or about $450 per incident.

“The company gets a cut, the city gets a cut, and the State gets a cut.  So there is no cost to us, and it provides a significant improvement in safety,” he said.

Tuesday night, the Board of Education is slated to discuss the issue during a meeting at 7:45 p.m. in the Common Council Chambers in City Hall, located at 125 East Ave. in Norwalk.

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