Drivers illegally passing school buses in Gwinnett County

SKYFOX Traffic explores school bus safety

- Gwinnett County, Ga.---We're only about two months into the school year, and drivers in at least one county aren't getting the message when it comes to school bus safety.

Gwinnett County has already written more than 1,900 citations for stop arm violations since school started.

On video, you can see car after car illegally blowing past a school bus stop arm in Gwinnett County. "Unfortunately what we're seeing is that these stop arm cameras aren't stopping people from going past the school buses and endangering our children," explains Gwinnett County Schools spokesperson Bernard Watson.

In just the first few weeks of school, hundreds of citations have been sent to drivers caught on camera breaking the law. "This year we have 300 stop arm cameras on our buses and from August 10 through August 28, 1,900 citations have been issued," adds Watson

The law states, all traffic moving in either direction must stop for a school bus when the stop arm is extended. The only exception is if you're traveling in the opposite lane, on a divided highway.

"Every time you go past a school bus, you're endangering the children that are on board. People have to remember, you're not just passing a bus, you're passing a vehicle that's carrying our most precious cargo, and that's our young children," Watson says.

The citations though, mean big bucks for the school district. So far it's collected more than $570,000.

"We're not interested in the money. We'd rather get no money whatsoever, because if we're getting no money then that means people aren't violating the law and they're not putting our children in danger and that's the most important thing," explains Watson.

The first offense...  fine is $300, then $750 dollars the second time your caught and $1,000 for the third offense. Gwinnett County says, believe it or not, at least 500 people have been repeat offenders.

The money is split between the school district, the county officers who watch the cameras and write the tickets, and the company that installed the equipment. The school plans to use the leftover funds for transportation related projects.
 


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