Xerox Tracks Traffic Violators With Cameras on Buses

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Xerox on Monday said it is equipping school buses with cameras that capture traffic law violations, which can help cut down on injuries and fatalities resulting from collisions.

The company's CrossSafe product includes a video camera on school buses that takes high-quality images of vehicles that could be in violation of traffic laws by passing the blinking stop sign arm on buses.

The image is watermarked with time, date and GPS coordinates, and is then electronically shared with law enforcement as evidence. The evidence could be used to send tickets to violators.

The system is specifically designed to be mounted on school buses and is not for cars, said Jon Butcher, director of Xerox's ACS Public Sector Solutions. The product is being used as part of pilots in several school districts in the U.S. and Canada.

A video posted by Xerox demonstrates the system capturing video of cars passing a school bus despite the stop sign. If a car still passes the bus, the bus driver could witness the violation, and the video records the license plate number of the vehicle. The recording device switches on when the school bus' warning lights are activated.

Without an automated system, it's hard for bus drivers to manually take down the information of violators.

"It's up to the bus driver to monitor who violates the stop arm, which means that in a matter of seconds, he or she must manually record the incident, plate number, location, etcetera, while trying to keep an eye on the child attempting to cross the street," Butcher said.

The company said it is working with law enforcement and school districts on the product, but did not provide specific details on the role that it plays. But Butcher said it helps by delivering the evidence to law enforcement and also helps in the process of mailing fines to violators.

Depending on the number of suspected violations, a service technician from Xerox periodically downloads information on the camera. The technician reviews the video for violations, coordinates reviews by local authorities to determine if a violation has occurred and then processes and issues the ticket if a violation has occurred. The ticket is then mailed to the owner of the vehicle.

But Xerox's ACS division has long-standing relationships with law enforcement resulting from existing programs, and has a good understanding of traffic enforcement requirements.

For example, the company's imaging technology is used to capture traffic violators through traffic lights and the City of Chicago is placing the company's photo-enforcement technology on street sweepers, which captures the license plates of violators that may be parking illegally on streets.

"Law enforcement ultimately makes the final determination and authorization if a violation has occurred and if a ticket is sent," a company spokesman said.

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