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Renton School District

Stop Paddle Camera Program

A safe learning environment is essential for our students. Safety goes well beyond the classroom and Renton School District is emphasizing the importance of safety as students ride our school buses to and from school. School buses are among the safest modes of transport—students are about 70 times more likely to get to school safely when taking a bus instead of traveling by car, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

But we know drivers today are more distracted than ever which can cause safety issues when our students are getting on and off school buses. To help protect our students, Renton School District has implemented a stop arm paddle camera program on 25 of our school buses. The cameras will record any driver who does not properly stop when bus stop paddles and cross bars are engaged to allow our students to safely enter and exit school buses.

The program begins November 1, 2019 and will allow a 30-day grace period where drivers will receive a warning if they violate school bus safety laws. Once the grace period is over drivers who illegally pass a school bus when the stop paddle is engaged will be issued a $419 ticket by King County court system.

Click here to find out more and see a video of our new bus stop paddle camera program.

Below is a video that talks about the new camera program and importance of driver awareness of the law. Also included are a few helpful diagrams to show drivers when to stop and a list of frequently asked questions.

School Bus Stop Paddle Cameras

Below are helpful diagrams to show when vehicles need to stop when the bus stop paddle and arm are extended.

Two-lane roadway:

Bus and two-lane roadway

Two-lane roadway with a center turn lane:

Two-lane roadway with turn lane

 Four-lane roadway:

Four-lane roadway

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a school bus violation?

A school bus violation occurs when the driver of a vehicle passes a school bus after the school bus has come to a complete stop with the stop arm extended and red lights flashing. 

  • On a two-lane road, both directions of traffic need to stop.
  • If there are three or more lanes of traffic, or a divided roadway, only the lanes going in the same direction of the bus are required to stop. Lanes moving in the opposite direction are not required to stop but must proceed with caution.
  • Failure to stop for a school bus can cost a driver $419.

What is the process when a violation has occurred?

The high-resolution cameras mounted on exterior of the bus will engage every time the bus makes a stop for students and the stop paddle, stop arm and lights have been activated. The camera will detect if a vehicle moves past a stopped bus within the enforced zone.

The recording of the violation is monitored by the company installing and managing the cameras and the footage is provided to the King County Sheriff's Office (KCSO) for validation. Once confirmed by KCSO the King County Court System issues the citation, in the amount of $419, to the driver within 14 days of the infraction. Drivers are also provided a photo and a link to watch the video footage of their infraction. 

What is the goal of the program?

Renton School District's goal is to improve the safety of students.

Why are you implementing these stop paddle cameras?

To increase driver awareness of school bus safety and to protect students and families as they start and end their school day.

When will the program be implemented?

The cameras will begin operating on November 1, 2019 with a 30-day grace period to warn drivers of their school bus safety infractions. Once the grace period is over on December 1, 2019, drivers will be ticketed $419.

Will these cameras be on all RSD buses?

The plan is to implement the cameras on 25 school buses initially. After the implementation and a review of the program, the district will revisit any need to add cameras to more of the school bus fleet.

How much is the citation?

A single violation will cost a driver $419. Violators cannot take a driving course to reduce or defer the fine.

Will this citation go on my driving record?

Bus safety citations are like parking tickets are will not be a part of the violator's driving record.

How much does it cost the district to implement this program?

The citations should cover the cost of the program, which includes the cost of King County Court to issue tickets and prosecute. The company installing and managing the cameras charge a fee based on the number of citations issued. Any remaining funds accrued will be invested in student safety programs.

Who can I contact if I have questions about a citation?

The King County Sheriff's Office and King County Court system issues all citations. You can reach the King County Sheriff's Office at (206) 296-3311 or the King County Court at (206) 205-9200.

No citations are managed or issued by the Renton School District.