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Suffolk County school bus camera program generates $12 million in fines from motorists

school buses

Suffolk County says it has collected $12 million from fines charged to motorists caught on the county’s new bus camera program. Ten percent of that money will be going to public safety.

The remaining 90% will be split between the county and BusPatrol, the operator of the school bus camera program. Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said the new camera program issued more than 85,000 violations between May and December of last year. Most of those violations happened in the autumn when school started at a rate of about 15,000 a month.

Suffolk has cameras on about 4,500 buses. The county released a 6-minute video of drivers blowing past stopped school buses. One child is seen being hit. Dozens more children are seen having close calls. Several cars are seen driving on to the median and shoulder to get around school buses.

County officials said they will be spending $125,000 on an ad campaign aimed at educating motorists on school bus safety.

Charles is senior reporter focusing on special projects. He has won numerous awards including an IRE award, three SPJ Public Service Awards, and a National Murrow. He was also a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists and Third Coast Director’s Choice Award.