DPS awards $35.6K to 3 SE Minnesota school, transportation companies for bus stop arm cameras

(ABC 6 News) – One school district and two bus companies in southeast Minnesota will benefit from a new round of grants from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) for the installation of school bus stop arm cameras.

DPS will award $35,687 in all to Triton Public Schools ISD 2125 ($11,154 for 13 buses), Hayfield Bus Company ($20,998 for 7 buses) and Grisim School Bus Inc. ($3,535 for 6 buses).

Overall across the state, 27 schools and transportation companies will receive $1.2 million from the DPS in its sixth and final round of grants to install bus stop arm cameras to help keep students safe as they go to and from school.

The grant project combines enforcement, education and awareness efforts so drivers obey the law and stop for buses with flashing lights and stop arms extended. The cameras are helping schools and law enforcement find the violators and hold them accountable.

Schools and transportation companies began installing cameras in 2022 as the multiphase grant project got underway. The grant project will equip around 7,000 school buses with stop arm cameras, representing about 59% of all school buses in Minnesota.

Prior to the grant project, law enforcement cited 4,652 drivers for stop arm violations from 2017 to 2021.

“No driver wants to kill or seriously injure a child because of a stop arm violation,” said OTS Director Mike Hanson. “It’s frightening to see the number of violations captured by the cameras. This project will help motorists understand the dangers, learn the law and keep kids safe.”

The National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services conducts an annual illegal passing survey in Minnesota. Participating school bus drivers observed 464 stop arm violations in a single day during the 2023 survey.