City Council unanimously passed an ordinance Monday night to install video cameras on school buses to catch motorist blowing by illuminated stop signs. The city is the first municipality in Virginia to institute such a program.
Already, the Falls Church Police Department is evaluating two vendors but there is no time frame to select a vendor, said Susan Finarelli, spokeswoman for the city. Because there is no contract, there isn’t a cost attached to the project but Finarelli believes the program will pay for itself through fines collected.
“We expect the cost will end up being a wash,” Finarelli said. “Revenue from the tickets will cover the administrative costs of the police officer evaluating each violation, to make sure there wasn't a camera error. If t here is any revenue remaining, it will go to the schools.”
Falls Church City Public Schools bus drivers reported 60 motorists sped by buses that were picking up or dropping off students over a three-day period in November. Motorists who violate the ordinance will be fines $250 for each offense. Finarelli said it’s possible the cameras could be installed before the end of the school year.