PERRY -- Houston County school board members are considering allowing a private firm to add photo-enforcement cameras to about 20 of the systems 237 buses.
After discussing the measure at a work session Monday night, board members opted to pull the matter from Tuesdays regular meeting agenda and delay consideration on the proposal until their August meeting.
Members wanted a definitive number of buses that would have the cameras and an actual memorandum of understanding between the school system and the Houston County Sheriffs Office in hand before voting. Frank Scott, director of transportation for the school system, had told the board that the estimate of 20 buses was not set in stone and may change.
The proposal calls for American Traffic Solutions to install the cameras on the stop arms that extend from buses stopped to pick up and let off students before and after school.
ATS would incur all the costs associated with the installation and issuance of tickets to motorists who violate the law and pass a school bus that has its stop arm extended, Scott told board members.
The camera snaps both a video and a still photo that is sent to the Houston County Sheriffs Office for review. If warranted, a citation is issued by the sheriffs office and mailed to the violator by the private company, Scott said.
Revenues from the tickets would be shared among the company, school system and sheriffs office, according to information provided to board members at Mondays meeting.
The first year, ATS would receive the lions share of the revenues, or 75 percent, to offset installation costs, Scott said. The remaining 25 percent would be shared between the school system and the sheriffs office, he said. That distribution has yet to be worked out and would be specified in the memorandum of understanding, Scott said.
Toby Hill told fellow board members he was not comfortable with the school system earning revenues off tickets -- something that is not in the boards area of expertise.
Board member Marianne Melnick said she sees the proposal more as a safety issue.
The school system conducted a one-day survey during the 2010-2011 school year and found 36 incidents where the extended stop arm was ignored by motorists. A similar one-day survey during the 2011-12 school year found that motorists ignored the extended arm in 86 incidents.
To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.