DPS awards $3.5M in school bus stop arm camera grants

More than two dozen schools and bus companies have been chosen to receive funding for school bus stop arm cameras.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety has announced 32 grant recipients that will receive around $3.5 million in total for the camera systems.

“For a parent, the thought of losing a child to a vehicle blowing past an extended school bus stop arm is unthinkable,” Mike Hanson, the DPS Office of Traffic Safety director, said in a statement. “Yet we see too many drivers who are distracted or place their priorities over the safety of our youngest Minnesotans. The camera grant project is a significant effort to keep kids safe, hold selfish or inattentive drivers accountable, and change dangerous driving choices.”

DPS says the initial grants are phase one of a larger project. Minnesota lawmakers approved funding for this year and 2023, totaling $14.7 million, which will be used for buying and installing the stop arm camera systems and related software programs.

The second phase application process runs through March 15.

DPS says more than 4,600 drivers have been cited for stop-arm violations since 2017. Drivers who fail to stop for school buses when the stop arm is extended face a $500 fine and can face criminal charges for endangering, injuring or killing a child.

Click here to see a full list of the first phase recipients.