Drivers will receive a 30-day warning period when the Glen Cove school bus camera program starts next week. NewsdayTV's Shari Einhorn reports.  Credit: Newsday/Kendall Rodriguez

A 30-day warning period for Glen Cove's school bus camera program will begin next week before ticketing starts in December for drivers who blow by the extended stop arm of such a vehicle, city officials said Thursday.

The program, operated by vendor BusPatrol, uses artificial intelligence and cameras affixed to school buses to capture images of scofflaws passing as children are being picked up or let off.

Glen Cove is the latest Long Island municipality to join the program, after Suffolk County universally adopted the program in 2021 and the Town of Hempstead and City of Long Beach voluntarily agreed to participate within the past year.

During Glen Cove's warning period, drivers who would have been slated for a ticket instead will get a notification that advises them of the violation but has no financial penalty.

Beginning around mid-December, motorists will get a $250 ticket for a first offense, followed by a $275 ticket for a second offense and a $300 ticket for a third offense, according to city officials.

Mayor Pamela Panzenbeck said at a news conference Thursday that the program is “really not about revenue — it's really about safety.”

 She added: “Our precious children are really our most valuable asset."  

The company Hendrickson runs a fleet of 21 large buses and 50 smaller buses within Glen Cove that will have cameras in operation, said Paul Mori, the company's director of client relations.

Glen Cove will receive 55% of revenue from the program and BusPatrol will receive the remaining 45%.  Panzenbeck said revenue will be deposited into the city’s general fund.  

Glen Cove resident Roni Jenkins, 54, said Thursday she had two children already educated in the city’s school district and now has a 16-year-old who takes the bus daily. She said drivers, especially during the morning commute, can be distracted or impatient, endangering children.

“I’m all for it,” Jenkins said of the program.

BusPatrol spokesman Jason Elan said each bus camera, infused with artificial intelligence, is able to account for the location of the bus and other vehicles.

Elan said after violation images are captured, a company reviewer checks visual evidence before making a recommendation and sending a package over to law enforcement officials, who make the final decisions on whether to issue tickets.

Most drivers who receive a citation don't offend again, according to Elan.

 “We're not asking much. We're asking for people to slow down and stop for the bus,” the BusPatrol spokesman added.  

A driver cannot pass a school bus with its stop arm extended, even if the motorist is traveling in the opposite direction or separated from the stopped bus by a divider, according to the New York State Department of Transportation.

A 2019 state law allowed municipalities to partner with districts to use cameras that catch violators in the act, Newsday previously reported.

Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman declined to participate in the BusPatrol program at the county level, leaving Nassau’s three towns and two cities to decide if they wanted to enroll.

Town of Oyster Bay spokesman Brian Nevin said officials there expect the program to start being implemented in January. He noted that individual school districts still need to enter into memorandums of understanding with the town.

Town of North Hempstead spokesman Gordon Tepper said the town is negotiating terms for its school bus camera program with BusPatrol, but "haven’t finalized the terms of the agreement.” 

North Hempstead's town board unanimously passed a resolution in September 2022 to hire the Virginia company for a five-year term with the option to renew for another five years.

Glen Cove Police Chief William Whitton said he hopes the city's program will lead to safer streets.

“What we want to do is change driver behavior because ultimately the goal here is to keep our roadways safe,” he said.

With Darwin Yanes

A 30-day warning period for Glen Cove's school bus camera program will begin next week before ticketing starts in December for drivers who blow by the extended stop arm of such a vehicle, city officials said Thursday.

The program, operated by vendor BusPatrol, uses artificial intelligence and cameras affixed to school buses to capture images of scofflaws passing as children are being picked up or let off.

Glen Cove is the latest Long Island municipality to join the program, after Suffolk County universally adopted the program in 2021 and the Town of Hempstead and City of Long Beach voluntarily agreed to participate within the past year.

During Glen Cove's warning period, drivers who would have been slated for a ticket instead will get a notification that advises them of the violation but has no financial penalty.

Beginning around mid-December, motorists will get a $250 ticket for a first offense, followed by a $275 ticket for a second offense and a $300 ticket for a third offense, according to city officials.

Mayor Pamela Panzenbeck said at a news conference Thursday that the program is “really not about revenue — it's really about safety.”

 She added: “Our precious children are really our most valuable asset."  

The company Hendrickson runs a fleet of 21 large buses and 50 smaller buses within Glen Cove that will have cameras in operation, said Paul Mori, the company's director of client relations.

Glen Cove will receive 55% of revenue from the program and BusPatrol will receive the remaining 45%.  Panzenbeck said revenue will be deposited into the city’s general fund.  

Glen Cove resident Roni Jenkins, 54, said Thursday she had two children already educated in the city’s school district and now has a 16-year-old who takes the bus daily. She said drivers, especially during the morning commute, can be distracted or impatient, endangering children.

“I’m all for it,” Jenkins said of the program.

BusPatrol spokesman Jason Elan said each bus camera, infused with artificial intelligence, is able to account for the location of the bus and other vehicles.

Elan said after violation images are captured, a company reviewer checks visual evidence before making a recommendation and sending a package over to law enforcement officials, who make the final decisions on whether to issue tickets.

Most drivers who receive a citation don't offend again, according to Elan.

 “We're not asking much. We're asking for people to slow down and stop for the bus,” the BusPatrol spokesman added.  

A driver cannot pass a school bus with its stop arm extended, even if the motorist is traveling in the opposite direction or separated from the stopped bus by a divider, according to the New York State Department of Transportation.

A 2019 state law allowed municipalities to partner with districts to use cameras that catch violators in the act, Newsday previously reported.

Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman declined to participate in the BusPatrol program at the county level, leaving Nassau’s three towns and two cities to decide if they wanted to enroll.

Town of Oyster Bay spokesman Brian Nevin said officials there expect the program to start being implemented in January. He noted that individual school districts still need to enter into memorandums of understanding with the town.

Town of North Hempstead spokesman Gordon Tepper said the town is negotiating terms for its school bus camera program with BusPatrol, but "haven’t finalized the terms of the agreement.” 

North Hempstead's town board unanimously passed a resolution in September 2022 to hire the Virginia company for a five-year term with the option to renew for another five years.

Glen Cove Police Chief William Whitton said he hopes the city's program will lead to safer streets.

“What we want to do is change driver behavior because ultimately the goal here is to keep our roadways safe,” he said.

With Darwin Yanes

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