school bus
  • BASD reminds drivers/pedestrians of safety measures during school bus arrival and dismissal. Board passes resolution to support Senate Bill 1098

    By Brit Milazzo
    bmilazzo@basd.net
    Public relations, BASD

    “This happens more than we like to think.” That’s a quote from Bellefonte Area school board President Rodney Musser in regard to the number of traffic violations by drivers when a school bus is stopped to pick up and drop off children.

    Senate Bill 1098, introduced by Sen. Patrick Browne (R-Allentown), calls for the placement of cameras on school buses to capture traffic infringements of nearby vehicles and help to prosecute violators.

    During a school board meeting earlier this school year, Superintendent Michelle Saylor said that, under the bill, the cameras would be installed on the “stop” arm of school buses. Recording would begin once the signal arm and red lights flash. If a violation has been captured, law enforcement officers can then review the footage and a citation may be issued.

    This would come at no costs to school districts, she added.

    Saylor said school districts could contract with a vendor that provides camera and installation on the school buses. Fines collected from violations would then go back to the district or municipality to help with safety initiatives.

    At its Sept. 11 meeting, the school board unanimously passed a resolution to support the bill and urge local legislators to do the same. That resolution can be found, here: https://www.boarddocs.com/pa/bellasd/Board.nsf/files/B45LWM5840B7/$file/SB%201098%20Resolution%202018.pdf

    On Nov. 1, Saylor issued a statement urging the community to be aware of the laws when school buses are stopped. This came following the news of a fatal pedestrian crash in Indiana that left three students dead after the driver reportedly drove through the group who was crossing the road to board a school bus.

    The statement says:

    With all the recent tragedies in the news resulting in injuries to children related to school buses (motorists not obeying traffic safety laws) or school bus stops, we wanted to ensure you that our transportation providers are aware of these recent events and are continually stressing the importance of safety with all of their drivers. We want to encourage you to remind your children to always look both ways before crossing and to look to their drivers to ensure it is safe. They often have a better view of the road from their bus seats. We also want to stress how important it is for each of us who drives to remain vigilant and take our time when traveling, especially during arrival and dismissal hours. Saving a minute or two by driving too quickly or by not stopping for a bus's flashing lights never offsets the risk to our children. We are deeply saddened by the recent events and will continue to do all we can to ensure the safety of our children.