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Wednesday, May 8, 2024

M-DCPS Launches New Program Aimed at Stopping Reckless Driving, Increasing Safety Around School Buses

Starting today, drivers who illegally pass a stopped school bus will receive a $200 fine.

Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) and Miami-Dade County Police, in partnership with BusPatrol America, today began enforcing South Florida’s first and largest school bus stop-arm camera enforcement program in the nation. All 1,000 school buses are equipped with cameras designed to protect students by catching drivers who illegally pass stopped school buses.

Today marks the end of a 30-day warning period during which 10,000 warning letters were mailed to violators who drove past a stopped school bus. Now, motorists, who drive past a stopped M-DCPS school bus, will receive a $200 fine in the mail.

“The purpose of this campaign was to ensure all drivers understand the seriousness of abiding by the law, as it is imperative to do so for the safety of our students,” said M-DCPS Chief Operating Officer Luis E. Diaz.

BusPatrol installed $10 million worth of high-powered, high-resolution cameras and AI technology on the District’s 1,000 school buses.  The cameras, installed on the school bus’s stop arms, are triggered automatically when the sign is deployed and the bus is fully stopped. These devices detect movement on the left side of the bus and capture the license plate of any vehicle that passes illegally. The cameras can read up to eight lanes of traffic.

Steve Randazzo, Chief Growth Officer for BusPatrol America explained how all M-DCPS school buses are equipped with AI technology.

“Our AI engine, we call her ‘Ava,’ and what she does is when the school bus stop (arm) comes out and the red light starts flashing that’s when Ava is able to automatically detect anyone who pass the school bus illegally.  That video evidence package then gets transmitted to law enforcement for review,” said Randazzo.

Additionally, the buses have also received interior cameras to safeguard students and bus drivers against incidents that happen inside the bus.

For the most up-to-date information, please download the Dadeschools Mobile App to your iPhone or Android device. Follow us on X, formerly known as Twitter, @MDCPS and @SuptDotres, on Instagram @miamischools and @suptdotres, and on Facebook at MiamiSchools.

Top Caption: All Miami-Dade County Public Schools buses are now equipped with cameras and flashing STOP signs.

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