Mayor Robert Restaino announced a partnership with BusPatrol involving the City of Niagara Falls, the Niagara Falls City School District and Niagara Falls Coach Lines. Thursday at City Hall, the contracts were signed between these four groups, creating this partnership.
BusPatrol specializes in school bus safety technology, focusing its efforts on helping increase bus safety through data collection and video monitoring. This data is collected and provided to law enforcement to issue citations and reduce stop-arm violations. BusPatrol’s technology helps police issue tickets and enforce critical laws to change driver behavior. Cameras are installed on the outside of the bus to monitor traffic each time the bus stops and engages the stop-arm.
In the fall of 2019, BusPatrol ran a pilot program with the Niagara Falls Coach Lines and Niagara Falls City School District to determine the number of potential violations that could be captured using BusPatrol’s safety camera system.
“The safety of our children is paramount,” Niagara Falls City School District Superintendent Mark Laurrie said. “During a trial period of time, with only two buses having cameras, far too many cars illegally passed stopped buses. This program will send a strong message that the safety of children on and around buses must be taken very seriously.”
The Niagara Falls City Council approved a five-year contract with BusPatrol at its meeting on July 15, 2020.
“Reviewing the findings of the pilot program, the need for additional safety measures became imperative, Restaino said. “This partnership will bring additional enforcement to protect school children.”
BusPatrol services include the cost-effective procurement, deployment and maintenance of safety technology. This is a no-cost program funded through a violator cost-recovery business model, with 60% of the violator fines paid to BusPatrol as a part of this agreement.
Speaking about the partnership, CEO and Founder of BusPatrol Jean Souliere said, “BusPatrol is proud to partner with the city, school district and Niagara Falls Coach Lines to ensure local students are safe as they travel to and from school. Our safety programs are proven to reduce the number of illegal passes by up to 30% year over year. We look forward to inciting a similar change in driver behavior in Niagara Falls and helping the city to put safety first.”
Restaino said, “The city is continuing its commitment to work together with the school district and other partners for programs like this that increase safety throughout our community.”