Jones County is getting tech savvy and using cameras on their stop arms to catch people speeding past stopped buses.
"We do have a lot of bus stops that are on major highways...major roads or major highways...and we can't avoid that. So we do the best we can. You know we equip our buses with the newest technology...the lights. But it just doesn't seem to be enough at this point,” said Kevin Sterling, Assistant Superintendent for Support Services.
WMAZ got on the bus to see if we could catch some violators. We found a few buzzing by the school bus with its stop sign out.
Chris Pope is a bus driver for Jones County and he says they get about 4 to 5 people passing the bus a day.
"When the cars blow by completely disregarding the lights you know the child has to react. If they're not paying attention, especially in the dark first thing in the morning, they may not see what's happening in time,” says Pope.
Jones County Transportation says they've been working on getting these cameras for two years now. The Gatekeeper camera gives you a 360-degree view and captures the license plate of the violators. Right now Jones County has one camera in use. But they will have cameras on 9 other buses in places where they get the most violators come April 27th.
"We think the cameras are very important not only because if you can't get in the person's pocket to make them pay attention to a 40 foot bus that's bright yellow with 18 flashing lights on it...maybe $300 out of your pocket will,” says Jones County’s Transportation Director, Wendy Vaughn.
Jones County Transportation says if a driver in a commercial vehicle with a C-D-L license runs the bus' stop sign they will lose their license. Second and third time violators will of course have to pay more than $300. Houston County school buses also use these stop arm cameras.