• Q. Why has the Mercer Island School District implemented a School Bus Stop Arm Safety Camera Program?

    Bus drivers have reported numerous vehicles passing school buses with the stop paddle extended. It is illegal and incredibly dangerous for a vehicle to pass a stopped school bus.

    More than 400 children nationwide have been killed by drivers passing a stopped school bus over the past four decades according to the Institute for Transportation Research and Education.  The goal of the program is to improve the safety and transportation of students riding school buses. We are committed to reducing violations, collisions and injuries to keep our community safe.

    Q. What is a school bus violation?

    A school bus violation occurs when a motorist passes a school bus after the school bus has come to a complete stop with its stop arm extended and lights flashing.

    Q. Why is this type of enforcement needed?

    -        Violations are automatically detected allowing the bus driver to focus on the school children.

    -        Photo-enforcement systems serve as a force multiplier, allowing for continuous enforcement while law enforcement officials focus on other high-priority policing needs.

    -        When a school bus stops and alternating red flashing lights are active, you must stop – It’s the law.

    Q. How does the School Bus Arm Safety Camera work?

    Step 1: High-resolution cameras are installed at key locations on the exterior of the school bus.

    Step 2: When a school bus extends its stop arm, the system can automatically detect if a vehicle passes the stopped school bus within the enforced zone.

    Step 3: If a vehicle passes the school bus, the cameras capture images and video showing the violating vehicle.

    Step 4: The violation images include not only the violating vehicle as it passes the school bus, but also the vehicle’s license plate and the school bus’ extended stop arm. The system also records a video of the violating vehicle as further evidence of the violation.

    Step 5: Violation data and images are then wirelessly uploaded to ATS’ Axsis™ Violation Processing System for validation, processing and notice issuance.

    Step 6: A final review of the violation image and video is conducted by Mercer Island PD, who then will approve or reject the violation.

    Q. How are bus routes selected?

    District officials work with Mercer Island police to determine the frequency of illegal stop-arm passing. 

    Q. How much is the fine?

    Violators will be assessed a $394 penalty.  This is a civil penalty, no points will be assessed, no reporting to insurance companies.

    Q. What do I do if I have received a notice?

    Please visit www.violationinfo.com  and logon with the information provided on the notice.   There are also detailed instructions on the back side of the notice.

     Stop Arm camera diagram