Video: 10K Drivers Illegally Passed Bridgeport School Buses So Far This Year, City Says

A Fairfield County city is fighting back against drivers who illegally pass stopped school buses as the number soared to 10,000 violations so far this year.

A view of vehicles illegally passing stopped school buses in Bridgeport. 

Photo Credit: City of Bridgeport/BusPatrol

The City of Bridgeport announced on Thursday, Feb. 15, that nearly 10,000 motorists illegally passed a stopped school bus during the first six months of the school year. 

The number of violations was captured through the City’s school bus camera safety program, demonstrating the ongoing public safety threat facing students on their journey to and from the classroom, city officials said. 

From Sunday, Sept. 3, 2023, to Saturday, Feb. 3, 74 school buses equipped with stop-arm cameras recorded 9,860 vehicles that illegally passed school buses stopped to pick up or drop off children, the city found.

This is equal to 2.2 violations per bus per day, or 75 violations per weekday.

According to the data, the bus stop with the highest number of violations was the 100 block of Logan Street with 1,671 violations, nearly triple the next highest violation hotspot at the 100 block of Davenport Street with 566 violations. 

Nearly one in five stop-arm violations occurred at either of these two locations, city officials found. 

In August 2022, the city enacted a school bus camera safety program to detect drivers who fail to stop at school bus stop signs and assist local police with enforcing the state’s stop-arm law.

The city installed cameras and sensors with AI technology on the outside of all Bridgeport school buses to detect drivers and record their license plate information when they unlawfully pass a stopped school bus. 

However, a technicality in the state law currently prevents the city from implementing this safety program to better enforce the state law, officials said. 

Bridgeport made the data public as a way to entice state lawmakers to pass legislation that provides for the ability to impose monetary liability and collections at the municipal level. 

Doing so would empower the city to leverage automated enforcement technology for the Bridgeport Police to capture stop-arm violations where they occur, deter violators, and change driver behavior.

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