Media Availability: AISD Bus Stop-Arm Safety Program Issuing Citations Starting Monday
Sole opportunity to pre-record interviews/footage for Monday
On Monday, Feb 8., Austin ISD will begin issuing citations to drivers who pass school buses with flashing red lights and the stop-arm extended as they pick up and drop off students.
Warnings have been issued since Thursday, Jan. 7 and more than 265 warnings were distributed during the 30-day period.
"My officers and I have been reviewing the video footage of drivers passing our busses and it's very concerning," AISD Police Chief Eric Mendez said. "We need to change this behavior now."
AISD has partnered with American Traffic Solutions, who are installing cameras on buses to capture images of vehicles that fail to stop while a school bus stop-arm is extended.
The school bus stop-arm safety cameras are mounted on the side of each school bus. When the stop-arm is deployed, the camera automatically detects a vehicle passing the bus in either direction and captures video of the violation and still images of a vehicle's license plate.
In Texas, the penalty for a first stop-arm violation will result in a $300 fine for the vehicle's owner.
What: AISD Transportation Director Kris Hafezizadeh and AISD Police Chief Eric Mendez will demonstrate how the district's bus stop-arm cameras operate, provide an update about the violations recorded to date and offer bus safety reminders for Austin drivers.
When: 10-11 a.m. Friday, Feb. 5
Where: AISD Southeast Bus Terminal, 7200 Bluff Springs Road
When a school bus is stopped with its lights flashing, drivers in all lanes must stop unless they are on the other side of a median.
AISD law enforcement officials review the violation video and license plate images for approval prior to a citation being issued.
The media availability on Friday is for all media to pre-record interviews and b-roll to be used in Friday and Monday stories. There will be no additional media availability on Monday.
Austin ISD is the largest school district in Central Texas, serving more than 83,000 students at 130 schools. Follow AISD on Twitter at @AustinISD or on Facebook at facebook.com/austinisd.