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Police and Officials: Passing a School Bus Will Get You a Ticket

Officers will be looking for "dangerous behavior" from drivers - and they'll have a little help from some camera technology.

Students will be lining up at bus stops, ready to get on the big yellow bus for that trip to school this morning and school officials, partnering with the , are focused on student safety.

Their message in the past week has been clear: those who choose to pass a school bus illegally will receive a ticket.

The town will continue with a pilot program implemented during the last month of the 2011-12 school year, installing five cameras on school buses in high traffic areas as an added means of enforcement to start the year. The cameras will take video images when the red lights are on.

"In today’s world we have embraced technology in almost every aspect of our lives,” Joseph V. Erardi Jr. said in an interview earlier this year. "This program is designed to use available technology for student safety."

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The district , but the cameras weren't installed until later in the year. The cameras, supplied by
RedFlex Traffic Safety were be used to collect data, staff with New Britain Transportation confirmed.

But over the summer, Redflex announced its acquisition of SmartBus Live, a Rhode Island-based company that with more advanced tecnology and integration systems. So Southington was chosen to be part of a second round of the pilot program.

A total of five buses will be equipped with the equipment but the exact routes that will receive the new technology have not been announced.

During the pilot testing period, citations will not be issued. Instead, the program is designed to allow data to be collected to determine the frequency and severity of the illegal behavior. The camera technology will be installed by mid-September.

In the meantime, Southington police said Wednesday that officers will be on the lookout for those passing a standing bus and will not hesitate to issue a ticket for violations.

"These programs are part of a proactive effort to make sure tragedy doesn't happen. It's about safety," Lt. Lowell DePalma said in a previous 2012 interview.

Police posted on the following on their Southington Police Department facebook page Wednesday:

"With schools opening this week the Southington Police Department wants to remind drivers to watch for children at Bus Stops. Also watch for children coming out from between stopped buses and crossing the street."

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Kelsey August 30, 2012 at 10:39 AM
Hopefully the cops will use existing technology, high and low, meaning radar and their eyeballs, to nab speeders. Kids face a bigger risk walking in the area and riding with their families from people not just exceeding the limit but using excessive speed on town roads. And that goes for the bus drivers as well - 35 in a 25 mph zone is exceeding the limit guys!

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