Belen Schools first in state to put cameras on outside of buses

New Mexico

A New Mexico school district has become the first in the state to put cameras on their buses on the outside, catching drivers who whiz by as children get on or off the bus.    

Belen schools have added cameras to the outside of two school buses.

When the stop sign comes out and engages we have the picture of the stop sign out and we have a clear view of the street in front of us, said Support Services Director David Carter. 

Carter says drivers aren’t stopping for the buses and are putting children at risk.

Out there on Mesa road that’s one of our routes and we have some notorious routes out here, 304, 116 on the south side they just constantly are in a hurry,” said Carter. 

We have a lot of country roads out there so we tend to think that we can go around things because we have a lot of tractors, said Maria Alicia Cordova. 

The exterior cameras are the first of its kind in the state. As kids are getting on and off the bus, they will capture who is not following the law.

If we catch them in town we’re going to turn over the license plate we can enlarge the image and get a clear picture of the driver,” said Carter. 

Carter says they don’t want to cite and fine drivers. They hope these cameras will encourage drivers to just stop.

This is serious hitting a small child is going to ruin that family’s life it’s going to ruin the driver’s life, said Carter. 

This past session, lawmakers considered a bill to make these cameras mandatory on all school buses and raise the fine to $300.

Under current state law, drivers who blow past a stop sign on a school bus are fined $100.

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