Two Charged with Passing Stopped School Buses as Lights Flashed

New Canaaan's school buses are equipped with surveillance cameras which can record license plates. In this case, police said, the cameras provided good evidence in catching people who drove past stopped school buses.

Three drivers on New Canaan roads passed school buses that had stopped to pick up or let off children, the bus drivers told town police, who charged the drivers.

But police didn't just have to rely on the word of the drivers: The town's school buses are equipped with surveillance cameras, and when the drivers press a button as a car passes, the video recording time is marked so that it can be more easily found later.

From the videos, police can find not only an image of the passing cars, but of the cars' license plate numbers. From there, they check registration and contact the owner to establish who was driving the car at that time.

The driver then gets a ticket which typically carries a fine of $460.

Here are accounts (accusations not proven in court) of each of the three incidents from last week, according to New Canaan police:

Intersection of Lapham Road and Talmadge Hill Road

On Thursday, May 22, a bus stopped near the intersection of Lapham Road and Talmadge Hill Road at 9:56 a.m. A vehicle traveling directly in front of the stopped bus slowed down, then continued on, driving past the stop sign on the bus's extended arm.

Police charged the driver, Zhao Jianqiao, 43, of Hillside Avenue in Darien with passing a standing school bus.

Jelliff Mill Road near Shady Knoll Lane

Sometime on Tuesday, May 20, a vehicle passed a stopped school bus, which had its lights flashing and stop sign extended, near 174 Jelliff Mill Rd. Craig Bornman, 38, of Main Avenue, Norwalk, was charged.

Near 88 Jelliff Mill Rd.

On the same day, near 88 Jelliff Mill Road, a white Ford sedan passed a school bus, again with lights flashing and stop sign extended. Police were still looking into the matter as of Tuesday morning, and hadn't charged the driver.


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