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Some Idaho school buses equipped with stop-arm cameras

As students get ready to head back to school, KTVB reminds drivers why they might want to think twice before passing a school bus.

BOISE — In just a few days from now, the new school year starts for children around the Treasure Valley.

That means more buses on the roads - carrying kids to and from school - and making a lot of stops along the way.

A KTVB viewer reached out to us to find out exactly what the law is when it comes to stopping for buses on four-lane roads.

KTVB looked into it and also found out about stop-arm cameras being used on some Idaho school buses.

“What the camera does is when the red lights are activated, and the stop arm comes out, it will monitor anything that comes by the school bus, in front or behind,” Larry Fielding, First Student Location manager said.

First Student, which serves the Boise School District and the Brown Bus Company, which serves the Nampa School District are among some of the companies that have buses already equipped with the stop-arm cameras.

“It captures that vehicle, it captures the color, a lot of times it'll also capture the direction of travel and you can hook it to a GPS and a lot of times it'll take a picture of the driver themselves,” Dave Swanson, Brown Bus Company’s assistant manager said.

The companies then take the information gathered and pass it along to local law enforcement.

KTVB checked with the Idaho State Police about the law when it comes to passing a stopped bus on a four-lane road.

“If there are four or more lanes of travel, the oncoming traffic does not need to stop, but the traffic that's the same direction as the school bus has to stop,” Cpl. Jordan Scow, Idaho State Police said.