Marysville schools add bus cameras to catch illegal passers

Marysville has installed these cameras on school buses to catch illegal passers. (Photo: KOMO News)

MARYSVILLE, Wash. -- Cameras began rolling on 15 Marysville School District buses Wednesday in an attempt to catch reckless drivers who illegally pass when the stop paddle is out.

The technology comes from American Traffic Solutions, which fronted the cost of each of the $10,000 camera systems. Each bus, the company says, is now equipped with several cameras that record different angles to capture a passing violation in its entirety.

“It really was a no-brainer,” Marysville Superintendent Becky Berg said. “If it’s about child safety, we are all in.”

Here’s how the system works: When the “stop” paddle comes out for a student to board or exit the bus, the cameras record. When a driver illegally passes the bus, the data are sent directly to American Traffic Solutions. The company said it reviews that information, and based on guidance from Marysville police, the company sends any potential violations to the Police Department. For each case it sends, ATS receives $69 from the Marysville School District.

Marysville police then review the data and send violators a ticket for $419 or a citation for reckless driving. The violation will not go on the driver’s record.

Any remaining funds go to safety projects on Marysville schools, such as improving infrastructure or adding crossing guards.

Marysville isn’t the first Washington school district to add the CrossingGuard system. American Traffic Solutions says Bethel, Highline and Mercer Island school districts already use them.

Seattle and Bellevue public schools have run pilot programs. Both districts told KOMO their boards still need to approve installation of the CrossingGuard System. Seattle Public Schools intends to ask the board for external cameras on all buses in the district by next fall.

Marysville Public Schools says there will be a 30-day grace period where violators will receive only a warning. Then Marysville police will begin sending citations.

This story was first reported by the Everett Herald.

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