UPDATE: Dist. 205 Could Get School Bus Cameras by Fall

UPDATE: The Rockford Public School District could soon have a new tool to catch drivers breaking the law.

The district is hoping to get cameras installed on the outside of most of its school buses by Fall. The goal is to catch drivers who run through school bus stop signs. License plate information would then go to a vendor, which be forwarded to the Winnebago County State's Attorney's office for prosecution.

The school board must give the 'okay' before the cameras can be installed. The transporation department hopes to get a measure approved over the Summer.


ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- As many as ten kids are killed every year after being hit by cars while crossing the road in front of a school bus, that's why District 205 wants to make its buses safer with the use of more cameras.

"We've had over 100 school bus violations a day where cars have passed school buses, and what we're looking at is the safety of children."

District 205 Transportation Director Gregg Wilson wants to add more cameras to the outside of school buses. The district has had just one camera for nearly two years.

"Right now it's just for collecting data or if we have a troubled spot, we'll set it up to show the police department so they'll run actual traffic checks," explains Wilson.

But the camera is supposed to automatically record vehicle information when drivers run through school bus stop signs. Now that the new law supporting this camera use took effect in January, the Rockford Public School District is talking with Winnebago County to get an ordinance passed, so they can install more cameras.

"I think that's our number one priority, to keep (kids) safe."

Rockford parent Melissa Sheley has a son who rides the school bus and she says many drivers are out of control.

"They just seem to care only about what their own agenda is and not the complete safety of the children or anybody else around them," says Sheley.

That's why she supports the use of these cameras.

Sheley says, "Nobody wants a ticket so I think it could help, it's definitely not going to hurt."

The camera would record a violator's license plate number, which would be sent to the vendor. That information would then get sent to local law enforcement to decide whether to prosecute.

The driver would receive the ticket in the mail; it's $150 for a first offense.


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