Cameras Mounted On Outside Of Lancaster School Buses Catch Drivers Who Illegally Pass


UPDATED: Tuesday September 24, 2013 11:49 PM

One central Ohio school district is taking student safety a step further.

Concerned Lancaster bus drivers came forward to talk about the issue of illegal passing.

"We even had a motorist cross a double yellow line, drove on the yard side of the bus where the students had just gotten off," said Lancaster City Schools Transportation Supervisor Greg Kelley.

Kelley said that the bus drivers were worried that a horrible crash would occur.

"When are we going to have that major injury?" he said. "When are we going to be kneeling over that child in the roadway?"

Lancaster schools officials said they tried everything.

Early on, they asked bus drivers to give a verbal account of infractions they saw. Then the drivers were asked to keep written logs.

When all of that was deemed too distracting for drivers and ineffective in the end, they put cameras inside the buses. But even that was without success.

What resulted was a proactive solution. Cameras were put on the outside of the bus. They catch high-resolution video and images if a driver passes while the bus is stopped.

The district is the first in the state to use the cameras, which are new to the district this year.

If the flashing lights don't get drivers' attention, officials hope a $250 fine will.

"I think it's a great idea, especially since it's fully funded," said parent Misti Maynard. "Everybody's in a hurry. Period. We'll all really busy, but slow down for the little ones."

The project is at no cost to taxpayers, and the camera company gets a percentage of each ticket.

The cameras will only be on buses that stay inside the Lancaster city limits. That accounts for about half of the district's routes.

"Every day, there are people committing these violations and putting our kids at risk," said Stephanie Hall, the Lancaster Assistant Prosecutor.

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