Rochester Community Schools gets hefty bus stop arm camera donation

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ROCHESTER, Ind. (WNDU) - In the town of Rochester, there's a new tool to catch drivers who illegally pass school buses, and it comes with the help of donations.

NewsCenter 16 was there Tuesday as bus drivers and school leaders demonstrated the multiview stop arm camera system.

Rochester is situated just southwest of Tippecanoe Valley Schools, a district where three children were killed and another child was seriously injured in a bus stop accident last year.

The two school systems share a tightknit community that is dedicated to making sure this type of tragedy never happens again.

"We do the best to train our drivers and they're going to do their best, but it takes all of us as a community," Rochester Community Schools Superintendent Jana Vance said. "We talk a lot in our district about it taking a village. This is one of those times where we can't afford to have distracted driving, we can't afford to miss a beat."

The images from the stop arm cameras are clear enough to see license plates, and they will also capture the make and model of the car. In many instances, it will even get a photo of the driver. All of that information can then be shared with police.

"It takes more than just a plate number to present to the prosecuting attorney to file the charges, so we need all the information we can gather during the incident," resource officer Robert Daughtery said.

Woodlawn Hospital in Rochester came through with $10,000 to help the district pay for the new technology for all 18 of their buses. The upgrades will take place one bus at a time over the next few months.

"The community needs to support our kids," Woodlawn Hospital CEO John Alley said. "As we look at where we're going to go in the future, this is it. Our future leaders are in these buildings to make them safe."