More than 13 million violations happen when cars illegally pass school buses each school year, according to the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS).
Bibb County is working to change those statistics locally by adding cameras to school buses.
If you have ever driven behind a school bus, you have most likely seen a stop sign pop out as students get on and off.
“The cars [were] going by so its easily that a child could’ve gotten hit,” said Bibb school bus driver Keri-Ann Carpenter.
She says even if people see the sign sometimes they ignore it, and that it needs to change.
“Cause you can’t prove it. It’s like okay, what can they do? So they just take the chance of going past,” said Carpenter.
The Transportation Director for Bibb County Schools, Anthony Jackson, says they conduct a study once a year with bus drivers like Carpenter to find out how many drivers illegally pass school buses.
Jackson says in the past three years, the data shows that cars have violated the law an average of 116 times a day.
“That’s 20,000 violations per year, so just by grace we haven’t had a fatality,” said Jackson.
However, Jackson says that number could soon change. The county is adding a box that holds several cameras next to each stop arm on all 208 school buses.
“This gives us the ability to cite, [it] puts a little bit more teeth into what we're doing,” said Jackson.
The camera company, Force Multiplier Solutions, will monitor the footage and send evidence of violations to the Bibb Sheriff's Office.
In return, the company will receive 70 percent of the money from fines. The rest will be split between the Board of Education, the sheriff’s office and the solicitor general.
“I think it'll make them think twice like I said because of the consequences behind it,” said Carpenter.
The Bibb Sheriff's Office says the cameras will help serve as extra eyes for them.
Jackson says the cameras will be up and running by the next school year.
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