NAPOLEON (WTOL) - There’s growing concern about drivers passing stopped school buses. It’s a national problem that’s already resulted in at least one tragic accident that killed three in Indiana back in October.
Locally, one school district is working to stop the problem by helping authorities catch law-breakers.
"It’s actually safer to get the kids to and from on a school bus than it is in mom and dad’s car,” said Jeff Nicely, Napoleon Area Schools’ transportation supervisor.
Research shows that’s true, but that doesn’t mean dangers are eliminated altogether. Just over a month ago, three Indiana children tragically dying after being hit by a car while crossing the street to get to their school bus.
That’s one of the reasons why Nicely and his department are installing exterior stop-arm cameras on 10 of their 27 buses, thanks to four private donations totaling nearly $6,000.
“It’s wide angle, it catches up kids who are across the street waiting for the bus and everything else,” Nicely said. “It also covers the stop sign for when the stop sign comes out when the buses stop to load and unload kids,”Nicely said.
He added that they’ve already been put to use. The district has handed over footage to authorities after two separate violations in the last month. And it’s a good thing, he said, because his employees have plenty to pay attention to, so often times, they don’t get the description of a law-breaking driver.
“It happens so fast,” Nicely said. “You know, you might get a description of the vehicle, maybe the color, maybe the make, possibly what the driver looks like, but you can’t always get everything. The nice thing with the cameras on the side of the bus is it captures all of that stuff."