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Chesapeake City Council approves installing cameras on school buses

The school superintendent asked for stop-arm cameras, which will take a picture of a license plate if a driver illegally passes a school bus.

CHESAPEAKE, Va. — Chesapeake City Council approved an ordinance that will allow the school district to install school bus cameras on Tuesday night.

Chesapeake Schools Superintendent Dr. Jared Cotton filed the letter of request, asking for stop-arm cameras, which will take a picture of a license plate if a driver illegally passes a school bus.

“Really what we’ve determined is one is too many,” said Cotton. “So we want to make sure that all of our drivers are aware and we’re ensuring the safety of our students.”

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In Virginia, it is illegal to pass a school bus on both sides of the road without a median, if a bus stop arm is extended and lights are flashing. Drivers failing to stop will receive a $250 ticket made payable to the school district.

Kenya and Glenn Lamb have two kids in high school. They said drivers aren’t paying attention when they’re driving.

“The last thing you want is to see your kid on a video being run over by a car because it just decided to go around the bus and didn’t stop,” said Kenya Lamb.

Cotton said he hopes the cameras will bring awareness to drivers who might not know the law.

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“I’ve seen cars pass the stop signs and I think it’s dangerous and we need cameras so people can be caught,” said parent Stacey Treat.

A spokesperson for the school district said several vendors will install the cameras at no charge to the district. Once the vendor is selected, the school district will implement a rollout plan that will allow the cameras to be installed in phases.

The school district has not given details as to when it wants to begin the roll-out phase.