- Pennridge School District
The Pennridge School District empowers the “Bus Patrol” system.
Children who ride to school on Pennridge School Buses and their parents can expect a safer, smarter commute thanks to a new safety initiative. In March, the Pennridge School District agreed to a six-year contract with the BusPatrol organization and local law enforcement to tackle the illegal passing of stopped school buses and utilize better tools for monitoring the safety inside our buses too.
As part of the safety initiative, the entire fleet of 106 buses has been outfitted with automated enforcement technology to detect the license plates of vehicles that fail to stop for school buses, putting children at risk. The video evidence is shared with local law enforcement for review before a citation is issued. The Pennridge School District is partnering with the Pennridge Regional, Hilltown Township, Dublin Borough, and Perkasie Borough Police Departments.
The programs will go live on October 1, 2023, and we invite our community motorists to familiarize themselves with the bus safety laws.
Incoming Pennridge School District Superintendent, Angelo Berrios asserted “I'm pleased to announce that our partnership with 'Bus Patrol,' which we approved last March, will officially go into effect on Monday with the full support of law enforcement. This initiative underscores our unwavering commitment to the safety and security of our students during their daily commute. With 'Bus Patrol' in action, we are taking proactive measures to ensure the highest level of protection for our children. Please take a moment to watch the attached video for a comprehensive understanding of how this collaboration will enhance the safety of our school transportation system."
Last October, Pennsylvania authorities reported more than 250 stop-arm violations in one day during Operation Safe Stop. In 2020, the Allentown School District captured over 200 illegal passings on just two buses over a 47-day stop-arm study. This is equal to 2.18 violations per bus per day.
A spokesperson for BusPatrol, said that the safety initiative is proven to make roads safer: "Every day, thousands of cars ignore school bus stop-arms and speed past school buses as children are stepping on and off. Sadly, this dangerous motorist behavior is only getting worse. Our safety programs combine education and enforcement to change driver behavior and ensure that all motorists know when to stop for the big yellow bus. In some communities, our programs have reduced the rate of illegal passing by up to 30%." As stated by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, motorists must stop at least 10 feet away from school buses with red lights flashing and stop-arm extended. The penalty for a first-time violation is $300.