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 concerns when our students are getting on and off our 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 have illegally passed a school bus when the stop paddle and cross bar are engaged, and the lights are flashing will be issued a $419 ticket.
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.
Below are helpful diagrams to show when vehicles need to stop when the bus stop paddle and arm are extended.
Two-lane roadway with a center turn lane:
- What is a school bus violation?
- What is the process when a violation has occurred?
- What is the goal of the program?
- Why are you implementing these stop paddle cameras?
- When will the program be implemented?
- Will these cameras be on all RSD buses?
- How much is the citation?
- Will this citation go on my driving record?
- How much does it cost the district to implement this program?
- Who can I contact if I have more questions?
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.
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.
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.