The difference school bus cameras make, by the numbers

WASHINGTON — School bus cameras are controversial, and bring in big money for the counties that use them, but most importantly, proponents argue, they keep kids safe.

Now, the numbers are in from five of the seven jurisdictions that adopted school bus cameras at different times.

In all, they’ve generated 1,500 tickets, says AAA Mid-Atlantic’s John Townsend.

“That’s only the tip of the iceberg, because only a handful of school buses have these cameras,” Townsend says.

He says while that number may feel low, he says he thinks many drivers now know to look out for the cameras, which generated $40,000 from 201 tickets issued in the last six months in Falls Church, Virginia.

The county that issued the most tickets is Montgomery County, which adopted school bus cameras in January 2014.

“They’ve generated almost 1,000 tickets in the county and reaped about $130,000 in revenue, but that’s not the point,” Townsend says.

The point is cutting down on the number of accidents involving children crossing near their school bus, and Townsend says the cameras are working well to accomplishing that goal.

Megan Cloherty

WTOP Investigative Reporter Megan Cloherty primarily covers breaking news, crime and courts.

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