Lafayette

Jan 12, 2014 12:51 PM by KATC

Lafayette schools testing bus cameras

The Lafayette Parish School System is testing traffic surveillance cameras on three of its buses to gather information on the number of motorists who disobey stop signs on school buses.

Damon Evans, school system transportation director, tells the Advocate that after a review of the data gathered, the district could consider contracting with a traffic monitoring company to ticket violators.

The district and Redflex Traffic Systems launched the program in December. It ends this next week.

Evans said reviews from the three cameras after the first week showed 10 illegal passes that could result in tickets. During the testing period, tickets aren't being issued.

"It's about safety. I could care less about the tickets. It would take only one time for someone to run a stop-on and injure the child," Evans said.

Bus drivers deploy stop signs - called stop-ons - each time they stop to drop off or take in a student. Motorists are required to stop - even on four-lane roads.

That doesn't always happen, and one motorist's bad behavior prompted the school system to partner with Redflex to test the system, Evans said.

At the conclusion of the program, Evans said, his staff will review violations and make a recommendation on whether the district should continue the camera program.

"There's no cost to the district, even if we continue with the cameras," Evans said.

The city of Lafayette has used Redflex for the past six years for red light and speed enforcement with traffic cameras. The company issues civil citations to alleged violators.

While the civil citations don't involve the same consequences as citations issued by law enforcement - potential criminal fines, jail time or license revocation - it could mean a hit to one's credit report. The company reports nonpayment of the civil violations to collectors.

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