School bus surveillance cameras lead to arrests

March 08, 2019 07:04 PM

Dashboard cameras catch car after car as they pass school buses in the Ichabod Crane Central School District. Drivers can be seen failing to stop for flashing red lights, breaking laws and putting students at risk.

"Whether it's the cell phones in their hands or the day to day grind, people need to be aware," said Columbia County Sheriff David Bartlett.

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Sheriff Bartlett says deputies and state police have been working hard to track down the offenders. District Transportation Supervisor Daniel Doyle says whenever a driver reports an incident, they turn the surveillance footage over to police.

Just last week, state police arrested a man who flew by a stopped bus on the right shoulder. In the video, a student can be seen stepping down onto the last step just seconds before the car goes by.

"That was seconds from becoming a tragedy where an individual could have been killed. Thank God for those cameras," said Doyle.

State police were able to use the video to track down the driver. Mark Crispino, 55, was arrested and charged with multiple counts including reckless endangerment and reckless driving.

Bartlett says stop arm cameras can catch a license plate, but even if they don't have it, they will go to great lengths to make an arrest.

"We'll look at the description of the car, we will sit on the area for a while, a big thing is social networking. We'll put the car on social media and all of a sudden people start calling us," said Sheriff Bartlett.

It's a countywide effort to try to stop it from happening again.

"It's just a matter of time either locally or somewhere in New York or in the nation. You can only be lucky so often," said Doyle.


Jacquie Slater

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