ROCKAWAY TOWNSHIP — There’s a new layer of protection for school kids in one Morris County community, as the township has installed cameras on its public school buses as a way of tracking distracted drivers who put students in danger.

"We are very proactive with regards to our children’s safety while they travel to and from school," police Lt. Paul Reilly said.

There are two buses with cameras on routes with the highest incidence of violators, Reilly said. The plan is to add more "in the near future."

The cameras are mounted on the left, rear side of the bus and are able to record facing both forward and backward, allowing for two views of a passing vehicle, according to Reilly.

If a camera captures a possible violation, that footage is sent by the Board of Education to the police department's traffic division, where an officer will review the video and determine if a summons is appropriate.

So far, there have been no violations caught by the school bus camera system, according to Reilly.

At the state level, a measure sponsored by Assemblyman Rob Karabinchak, D-Middlesex, would authorize use of a school bus monitoring system to identify drivers who do not stop for school buses and send them a ticket in the mail. The plan is opposed by state Sen. Declan O'Scanlon, R-Monmouth, who led the charge to take down the state's red-light cameras.

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