— Submitted by: Chris Gilligan, manager, external communications, ACS, A Xerox Company

Today kicks off School Bus Safety Week and I’m excited about a new timely offering from our company that catches offenders who break, what I consider to be, one of our most important traffic laws – to stop when a school bus puts out its stop sign.

According to the National Association for Pupil Transportation over the past 10 years an average of 29 children have been killed every year in school bus-related pedestrian accidents. These accidents took place while the child was either getting on or off a school bus, or while waiting at the school bus stop, and were typically the result of drivers illegally passing stopped buses. As a parent, I find this statistic terrifying, though I think everyone agrees that just one child who is fatally hit or injured is one too many.

In an effort to prevent accidents by changing driver behavior, ACS is offering school districts CrossSafeTM, a bus-mounted video solution that captures information from drivers who pass a school bus illegally and electronically submits data to law enforcement agencies. Offenders are then automatically issued tickets with required fines, all at no cost to schools or taxpayers.

To prosecute a violator who illegally passes a school bus, the law requires an eyewitness account, and too often the school bus driver is the only witness available. To expect bus drivers to record violators’ license plate numbers takes their focus away from their most important job – helping kids get on and off the bus safely.

CrossSafe is a way for school districts to not only protect their students, but also generate funds for safety programs, as participants can receive rebates from fines collected.

If you’ve watched the video, my guess is you’ll be as surprised as I was to see how many drivers completely disregard the bus stop sign.   You can do your part in helping reduce those accident numbers by sharing the The CrossSafe video on YouTube.

— Chris Gilligan, manager, external communications, ACS, A Xerox Company