Nassau County Executive Laura Curran announced that the County issued a request for proposals (RFP) – seeking vendors to install and maintain school bus safety cameras at no-cost to the County or school districts. The County is seeking a device that can be mounted on school busses and can capture license plate images of illegally passing vehicles automatically, whenever a school bus stop arm is extended, and red lights are flashing. The search for a vendor comes after 23 out of 26 school districts responded to a county survey on school bus safety cameras, indicating that they are interested in utilizing the program.
“My main priority, as students across the County head back to school, is protecting the health and safety of our children. The School Bus Safety Program will help protect our most precious cargo from reckless drivers that pass school busses and blow through their stop signs as students are boarding and exiting,” said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran.
Nassau County has 56 independent school districts that run approximately 3,300 buses per school day across multiple routes in the County and has more than 200,000 students enrolled in K through 12 education. School districts within the county can choose to opt-in to this program, by entering into a contract with the County.
Last year, County Executive Curran signed legislation that would allow the County and school districts to enter into intermunicipal agreements for the installation of school bus cameras to record drivers who unlawfully pass stopped school buses. As part of the legislation, sponsored by Legislators Siela Bynoe and Arnold Drucker, the vendor’s compensation for installing and maintaining the cameras is based on a percentage of the monetary penalties collected under the program, so that neither the County nor schools would bear any out-of-pocket costs.
“An essential element of Nassau County’s mission of protecting the communities we serve is our commitment to holding drivers that make needless, reckless decisions on the road accountable,” Nassau County Legislator Siela A. Bynoe said. “Today’s announcement is an important milestone in this endeavor to protect our children through the implementation of a school bus camera program, and I am grateful for the ongoing support shown by County Executive Curran, Legislator Drucker, community leaders and residents.”
“As we prepare to embark upon a new school year, Nassau County continues to send a clear message that selfish, reckless driving decisions will not be tolerated – especially when they endanger young people,” Nassau County Legislator Arnold W. Drucker said. “Today’s action is an important step toward implementing a school bus camera program in Nassau County, and I look forward to continuing to work alongside County Executive Curran, Legislator Bynoe and our partners to make our roads safer for everyone all year long.”
According to the NY State Education Department, Department of Pupil Transportation, youngest students ages 4 to 8 (K-3) are most susceptible to school bus fatalities because of their smaller stature, which makes them more difficult for bus drivers and motorists to see, as well harder for the children to see over or around objects such as parked cars and bushes.
Last year, the Nassau County Police Department issued 96 tickets to vehicles that went around a school bus – a 21 percent increase from 2018.