New HD cameras to spot drivers passing buses

Kent County

BYRON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A new product that will soon be offered by a Byron Center-area company will better document drivers who illegally pass school buses.

PRO-VISION Video Systems has offered bus cameras for years, but the latest technology is nothing like previous products.

“Now we’ve packaged it into a single unit. So two lenses on one camera, with the artificial intelligence running and decision-making behind how the camera operates,” director of sales Andrew Beach explained to 24 Hour News 8 Wednesday. “It’s not only going to capture when vehicles are passing and they’re violating the stop arm, it’s going to capture those bits and pieces so you don’t have to fish through a bunch of video to realize where the infraction actually happened.”

Each camera will cost about $600. The video will be captured in high definition, creating a clear picture of the driver and the car’s license plate. Beach thinks the imaging could be used in court.

“It is a foolproof system to being able to back up when it happened and what actually happened and that the stop arm was extended,” Beach said, adding that the program only triggers when the arm is extended and can sense a whether it’s a car that is passing rather than debris flying through the air.

The product will go on the market next month. It can’t stop a car, but hopefully people will be aware it’s now available and be more careful on the road.

“It’s behavior modification for the drivers out there,” he said. “They need to make better decisions and understand the laws that are in place to actually cause them to stop and understand there are lives in danger if they’re passing a school bus.”

Last year, two kids were hit at a Montcalm County bus stop. Both lived despite serious injuries, but the incident inspired bipartisan legislation co-sponsored by U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Township.

The Stop for School Buses Act of 2019, introduced last week, commissions a comprehensive review of best practices to prevent vehicles from illegally passing school buses that are loading or unloading students, a release said. If passed, the review would analyze whether current laws are effective countermeasures and determine best practices for future school bus safety efforts nationwide.

Michigan law states you must stop at least 20 feet away and can only proceed once the bus continues on or the signals are no longer activated. Violating the law can result in a $100 to $500 fine, community service and three points on your license

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