New school bus cameras catch illegal passing on camera - WLTZ 38 | Columbus Georgia Regional News & Community

New school bus cameras catch illegal passing on camera

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By Sara Belsole

COLUMBUS, GA - In January, a Muscogee County first grader was hit by a car getting off the school bus on Wellborn Drive.

She only suffered minor injuries, but Georgia leads the nation in school bus fatalities with almost a dozen children killed in the past five years.

Now, the Muscogee County school district is offering a solution.

The district has partnered with the Muscogee County Sheriff's office to catch drivers who don't obey the law.

"If you actually sat down with the Muscogeee County School District and saw the number of violations every single day involving school buses and the safety of the kids, I think people would be shocked and astonished," Sheriff John Darr says.

The district has installed American Traffic Solutions' "crossing guard" cameras on at least 50 of its buses at zero cost to the district.

The district has installed American Traffic Solutions' "crossing guard" cameras on at least 50 of its buses at zero cost to the district.

"I think it's a great idea to be able to identify the person who was responsible for such an incident," one parent says.

"You have to have a law enforcement entity review this clips and determine if there was actually an infraction and if there was an infraction to issue the summons," Darr says.

Your first  violation is going to cost you $300 and a second $750. A third violation in a five-year period slaps on a $1,000 fine.

The school district will receive 25% of the fines in year one, 40% in year two and in years three through five, the district will receive 50% of the fines.

In a statement, Muscogee County School District Director of Transportation Frank Brown says, "our number one priority is to protect the children who ride our school buses to and from school each day. We are proud to have this additional tool to help keep our children safe."

About 210 bus drivers transport 16,000 students on 850 bus routes to school each week in Muscogee County.

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