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UMSD Launches School Bus Safety Program

UMSD Launches School Bus Safety Program

Stop-arm enforcement cameras to help catch motorists who illegally pass school buses

WILLOW GROVE, PA — The Upper Moreland Township School District has partnered with the Upper Moreland Township Police Department to launch a new school bus safety program.

Through the program, all UMSD buses will be equipped with new stop-arm enforcement cameras designed to detect vehicles that illegally pass stopped school buses while the stop sign arm and red lights are engaged. Local law enforcement officers review the footage to determine whether to issue a violation by mail. This technology has been provided at zero cost to UMSD and taxpayers, as the program is completely funded through the fines that violators pay.

“The safety of our students is always our top priority, including when they are riding to and from school. Unfortunately, too many motorists illegally pass our buses when their lights are flashing and their stop-arms are extended,” said Dr. Susan Elliott, UMSD Superintendent. “We are incredibly grateful for our partnership with local law enforcement to move forward with this program. This is a way in which our entire community can come together to ensure a safe and secure transportation experience for our students, each and every day.”

Cameras on the side of school buses will help capture violation events and vehicle license plate numbers. The violation is then reviewed by law enforcement. Once approved, a notice of violation is sent to the registered vehicle owner by mail. In Pennsylvania, a first-time stop-arm violation witnessed by a stop-arm enforcement carries a fine of $300 and no points. 

Pennsylvania’s Operation Safe Stop estimates that school buses are illegally passed 2.18 times per bus, per day. In 2021, the organization’s one-day study revealed that participating school districts and law enforcement agencies reported 252 violations of the law, up from the 120 reported the year prior. 

For more information about the school bus safety program in UMSD, visit https://www.umtsd.org/Page/7092.