WOOD COUNTY, Ohio — Hitting the breaks for a stopped school bus continues to be a problem school drivers see on a daily basis. Since 2014, the number of fatalities caused by drivers who do not obey school bus signs has doubled, according to the National Congress of School Transportation.
"I think there's more cameras, and more people know about it now with social media. You know, I'm sure it's always happened but just now we have evidence of it, seeing it all the time," said Sgt. Matt Geer of Ohio State Highway Patrol.
But now, officers and deputies in Wood County are going "back to school" to make sure drivers who do not stop face the consequences.
Starting Tuesday, officers and deputies will be riding on school buses at various school districts around the county to look for drivers who do not stop when they're supposed to.
Perrysburg Township Police say they have seen nine violations so far this school year, four of which happened the first week of October. They are stationing officers on school buses that typically see more issues.
"We have three or four buses that have a lot of problems in certain areas. We'll have two detectives riding a bus, actually two different buses. And we will be targeting buses that were given to us by Perrysburg city schools," Sgt. David Molter said.
If an officer riding the bus finds a violation, they will take down the driver's description and license plate number and radio an officer nearby so they can make a traffic stop. Some districts like Bowling Green and Eastwood have cameras on their school buses that record when drivers pass illegally.
"This has been a great tool for us to be able to get that license number and get the identification of the driver so we can issue citations," Wood County Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn said.
Officers will be on both elementary, middle and high school buses.
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