So the day of "Big Brother" is finally here!
Cameras have been installed on 15 school buses to record the number of times cars illegally pass stopped school buses.
The 90-day trial period begins today (April 21).
Although Board of Education Director (of Management Services) Vincent Masciana said tickets wouldn't be issued during the trial, Police Chief Neil Dryfe was quoted in an area newspaper that he saw no reason that flagrant, repetitive violators wouldn't be issued tickets during the startup period.
"Big Brother" is not the only excuse used for the past 6 months for not allowing this program to go forward. Another excuse is, "It won't generate the amount of money ($51,000 for the town) estimated by Redflex."
Hello? It's not proposed to be a revenue-generating program. It's about safety.
Area newspapers reported last week that Redflex Traffic Systems installed temporary cameras on 15 buses on April 16 for the program’s pilot phase starting this week. According to Redflex Traffic Systems company representative Dana Meinke, the temporary cameras will record video to determine which roads see the most frequent illegal passes.
Another excuse not to move forward with this program was, "We didn't follow the town's bid process."
Hello? There's no cost to the town, so there's no bid process to follow.
And my favorite (excuse) is "Big Brother" - it will be recording every car that is on the street near the bus and that video will be out there and everyone can see it. No, it will be recording only when the bus' stop arm is extended. And the video will only be available to the Cheshire Police Department for a limited amount of time for review.
For me, the issue has always been about the safety of our school children.
When Luther Miller, Transportation Coordinator for BOE turned to me on his way out the door of the March meeting of the Council's Planning Subcommittee and said, "We had a near miss last week," my heart went into my throat.
This program is another tool for our police department to use to make sure our children are safe when traveling to and from school.
If there's another "near miss", I want the Cheshire PD to have that license plate.