MnDOT looks to install more school bus cameras

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(ABC 6 News) – For the past few months, schools across the area have been installing cameras on school buses to keep children safe from drivers illegally blowing through stop arms.

At the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s 20th anniversary conference, state officials discussed what’s coming next to hold these drivers accountable.

All six of the grant phases are either in process or are officially complete, with 59% of school buses being equipped with cameras. But, MnDOT officials still have more plans in the works.

The hope is to get more grants passed through the legislature to get all Minnesota buses equipped with cameras and to provide more education to drivers.

But with more time and resources spent enforcing and prosecuting these citations, law enforcement officials say there may need to be additional money coming in to balance that extra workload.

“For the law enforcement agencies, how much time are you dedicating? Enforcement, follow-up, reports, prosecuting side of it just to help track it for further initiatives if we need to go back to the legislature. Granted we got 14.7 to put the cameras on there but what are we doing to help the agencies for the added workflow for them?,” explained Lt. Brian Reu

New data from MnDOT shows the number of violations have gone up because of an increase in stop arm violations reports with help from the cameras. But the goal is to change driving behaviors and eventually decrease the number of violations

Overall, law enforcement, bus drivers and safety coordinators say the school bus cameras have been a huge success in keeping kids safe.

Now, its up to everyone involved to compile more data for these future initiatives and decide what to do next.