Belgrade Schools Buying Stop Arm Cameras - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Belgrade Schools Buying Stop Arm Cameras

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BELGRADE - More people stop for school buses in Belgrade after an ABC FOX Montana special report in February.

But Belgrade Public Schools said they are still buying stop arm cameras for their buses.

 “The number of violations seemed to go down, we were going from about four or five a week down to maybe one a week,” said Stephanie Banks, Belgrade Transportation Coordinator.

Banks said they are having more issues now in the River Rock subdivision, more specifically Sibley Street, which ends at Ridge View Elementary.

Montana Highway Patrol Sergeant Patrick McLaughlin said they’ve increased patrols in that area.

“That one is a high congestion area that time of day,” said McLaughlin. “There are a lot of students getting on multiple buses and a lot of traffic so we're seeing a lot of traffic stops still there.”

McLaughlin said he has issued six citations for people not stopping for school buses, and that's not counting citations issued by other MHP troopers.

Last year in the Bozeman district only one citation was issued.

Belgrade Public Schools Transportation Director Robert Evens said even though more people are stopping and more citations are issued, he is still getting six stop arm cameras for their buses.

"In those cases where drivers are focusing on what we need them to be, which is the kids, we don't always get the information, the license plate or description that we would like,” said Evans.

The cameras will be mounted just below the stop arm and will be activated when the stop arm is out, catching drivers who pass it.

 “It will capture any license plate, car descriptions or driver descriptions that may be going through that area when the stop arm is deployed,” said Evans.

Roberts said he will put the cameras on four routes that report drivers still not stopping; the other two will go on either other routes or spare buses to be used on those routes with the camera.

Belgrade schools plan to install the cameras this summer to be ready to use next year.

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