Many Naugatuck students have an extra layer of protection when they hop on their buses and head back to school this week.
Students around the Borough who rely on school bus transportation are now protected by REDFLEX Student Guardian, an automated safety camera system for monitoring and deterring drivers who illegally pass school buses.
There are currently three buses installed with the Student Guardian technology, monitoring the most problematic routes, according to Naugatuck Police.
“The goal of the Student Guardian program is to increase safety for our school children,” said Lieutenant Bryan Cammarata of the Naugatuck Police Department. “Distracted driving is a dangerous issue, even more dangerous when drivers are either not paying attention or become impatient while children are entering and exiting a school bus. We want to increase driver awareness and decrease the possibility of a senseless accident happening around our school buses.”
The Student Guardian safety camera system is installed on the front and rear driver’s side of a school bus. It monitors traffic while the bus’ stop arm and amber lights are displayed, leaving the bus driver free to focus on students, according to police.
A camera is triggered to capture data as a vehicle passes the bus while children are loading and unloading. Evidence of violations, including video and high-resolution images, is submitted to local law enforcement to determine whether a citation is warranted. The fine for passing a school bus in the Borough of Naugatuck is $450, according to police.
Cammarata said that the presence of the cameras serves as a deterrent to breaking the law and called the technology a “police force multiplier,” allowing officers to refocus their energies on other high-priority tasks while ensuring the safety of school bus routes.