Chesapeake Public Schools got 583 new school bus cameras, but how will the police department handle the workload with additional citations?
CHESAPEAKE, Va. — Beginning October 1, a new video camera system on 583 Chesapeake public school buses will capture drivers who break the law.
We showed you the system last week. Then a viewer asked us if the police department can handle the extra work, as they hand out citations to violators.
So, we talked to the cop in charge of the operation. There are now seven cameras on every Chesapeake public school bus, just below the stop sign, to catch the rule-breakers who endanger students’ lives.
All videos of the possible violation go to the system provider, “Bus Patrol.” Its employees review the footage, remove violations where there’s a median, and send the others to Chesapeake Police.
That’s where Chesapeake Police Officer Kenneth Byrd comes in. He and his team approve the violations. Then, Bus Patrol mails citations to the drivers.
“It’s one of the more dangerous violations,” said Officer Byrd.
He said he understands people might lose attention on their commute to work, but the national average for drivers running school bus stop signs is around two citations, per bus, per week.
“If you want to call it 500 buses and call it 1,000 (citations) per week,” Byrd said. “We will absolutely get it done.”
Office Byrd said working on those citations is in addition to his full-time police job.
“This is not going to detract from my normal duties per se as a police officer,” said Byrd.
In other words, it’s part-time work.
“As if I was working a prom event [or a] football game on a Friday night,” said Byrd.
Yet, Byrd said the extra work is worth it if it saves a student’s life.
“Maybe their first day, it may be their 500th day riding a bus. We want the parents to have the ease to know that hey these cameras are here and your child is protected,” said Byrd.