One local school district is working to protect kids on and off the bus with cameras that can catch drivers breaking safety laws.
In an effort to increase the safety of students, the Grand Ledge Public School district installed camera’s on nearly half of it’s buses a few years ago to record drivers who illegally pass a bus while stopping at bus stops.
One of the district’s bus drivers told 6-News though the cameras do help make a difference, it’s still a problem in the community.
“There’s not a day that goes by that there’s not someone that goes around the bus,” says Grand Ledge bus driver, Eddie Shaw.
Shaw carries a bus load of responsibility, the students he drives to school and the task of keeping them safe.
“We as drivers, make sure that all cars are stopped if we should be crossing kids across the street,” says Shaw.
Shaw says school bus safety is a high priority at Grand Ledge Public Schools and one of the reasons the district installed tiny cameras to catch drivers who illegally speed passed buses when flashing red lights are activated.
A dangerous action that Shaw says is more common than you may think.
“We had a couple just this morning, that people just blow by them,” says Shaw.
Mathew Moeggenberg is the head mechanic for Grand Ledge Public Schools.
He says, the cameras start recording when the bus comes to a stop and if a driver does illegally pass as kids are getting on or off the bus, the cameras record the car’s make, model, and license plate number.
“It flags the camera when they pass and then we can see that flag,” says Moeggenberg.
Moeggenberg says he then sends the video to police and the offense is punishable by a $325 ticket.
“When our stop lights, or our stop signs come out. They should be stopping,” says Shaw.
While it’s not illegal to pass a bus when it’s slowing down and it’s yellow lights start to blink, Shaw says it’s still important to be careful, because that means the bus is about to stop, and there are children nearby.
“People are just in a hurry to get to work and stuff so just pay attention, slow down, watch for the ambers, and then watch for the stop signs,” says Shaw.
Every year school officials also talk with kids on the bus about how to protect themselves near the road.
Shaw also advises parents to do the same and remind children to always look both ways before crossing the street.