EDUCATION

School bus cameras to catch illegal passers in Frederick County

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A new set of eyes will keep Frederick County roadways safe for students this school year.

School buses are being outfitted with cameras to catch motorist who pass illegally. Commit the crime, and you'll pay the price.

The county is one of the first in the state to use the law enforcement technology on school buses.

Frederick Co. Public Schools Spokesman Michael Doerrer said, "As soon as the bus driver activates the stop sign on the bus and the flashing lights go off, the cameras go on."

Forty of Frederick County's over 400 school buses will have the cameras mounted this year. It's all a part of a new program called "CrossSafe."

Todd Jackson is the director of technology at Xerox, the corporation providing the software and processing the violators.

"The video will start to capture still shots of the violator coming up on the bus and will continue to capture a series of still shots as the vehicle passes the bus completely," Jackson explained.

Two of the best shots will be sent to the sheriff's office for review, resulting in a $125 ticket in the mail.

Money from the violations will be put back in to the program.

A 2011 statewide study by the Maryland Department of Education found more than 7,000 cases of driver's passing illegally in just one day.

The cameras will be up and running when school starts Aug. 27. 

Charles, Montgomery and Washington counties are running similar pilot programs this school year.

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