School district targeting drivers who don't stop for school buses

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Central Ohio law enforcement says too many drivers are putting children at risk by failing to stop for the school bus.

The Columbus Division of Police Motorcycle Unit tracks the number of complaints made by school bus drivers to their respective school districts.

CPD says from September 2016 to July 2017, Columbus City Schools received 221 complaints from school bus drivers.

Police say Westerville City Schools received 25 complaints. Southwestern City Schools logged 25 complaints from concerned drivers, and Hilliard City Schools recorded eight.

In Lancaster, in Fairfield County, Lancaster City Schools Transportation Supervisor, said he believes many drivers don't understand Ohio law mandates them to stop for a school bus when the stop sign is deployed and the lights are flashing.

"Drivers have told me they've actually looked at the person's eyes and they've just blatantly ran it," said Kip Slater.

Lancaster City Schools is going the extra mile to convince drivers to stop for school buses by joining forces with a company called Redflex to put cameras on school buses.

"Worst case scenario you can hit and kill a kid. That's the worst case scenario," said Slater. "I can't for the life of me think why anybody would want to take that chance?"

It appears the cameras are making a difference. In the 2013/2014 school year, police approved 105 citations for drivers who failed to stop or yield to a school bus.

By 2015-2016, that number plummeted to 35, and fell again last year to 29.

On a two-lane road, drivers traveling in both directions must stop at least 10 feet from the front or rear of a school bus that is picking up or dropping off kids.

V​iolations can result in a $500 fine and a suspended license for up to a year.

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