Student safety is a priority concern for teachers, families, administrators — and even school bus drivers.
Violeta Sialer, an ISD school bus driver of 12 years, said she’s seen many drivers run the stop paddle.
“School bus stop [paddle] running is a big problem here in Issaquah,” she said.
The Issaquah School District (ISD) announced a partnership with Verra Mobility to install bus paddle cameras on 30 of its buses. The safety program will launch in November to help change driver behavior and reduce the number of drivers that pass school buses while children are getting on and off the bus.
ISD director of safety and security Dave Montalvo said the safety of the buses for students is a number one priority.
“It’s up there along with the safety of students while they’re in the buildings. We want to make sure that our students arrive at school safely and also go home at the end of the day safely as well,” he said.
Coleen Xaudaro, ISD transportation director, said the district’s 163 bus drivers have a huge concern over the cars running the stop paddles. She said drivers have been asking for the stop paddle cameras for a few years
“Safety is their priority,” she said. “They’re concerned somebody may get hit.”
The cameras record drivers who do not stop their vehicles when buses have their lighted stop signs out while picking up or dropping off students. Violators have their license plate information sent directly to law enforcement and are subject to a $419 fine.
The Bellevue School District (BSD) was one of the first in the region to install bus paddle cameras last year. Within its first year of operation, 923 violations were recorded.