School Bus Stops: Danger Zones - myfoxcarolinas.com

FOX 5 I-Team

School Bus Stops: Danger Zones

Posted: Updated:
CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. - For three years running, Georgia led the nation in bus stop accidents.  It was eye opening.  This meant children getting hurt or killed by drivers while simply trying to catch a school bus.  So, school systems started fitting buses with cameras to catch drivers who don't stop for children loading and unloading. But, is it working?

"Good morning," rang out from long-time driver Tamika Rawls' bus at each stop.  It was still dark in Clayton County when the little ones loaded onto the school bus.   

By drop off, the sunlight was just peeking through the bus windows, "Pre-K, kindergarten, first grade, come on!"

So, it's more important than ever that drivers stop when they see a school bus with flashing lights and an outreached arm that clearly says "STOP."  Ms. Rawls told the I-Team vehicles still fly by ignoring the signs and state law.   

"You can feel the bus kind of shift a little bit because they're going at a fast speed, so the wind will cause the bus to shift a little bit," she said.

Statewide, 21 school districts now have cameras on the outside of the bus to capture the problem.  In Cobb County we saw video after video of buses with the stop arm clearly out being ignored.  In one clip, a student crossed the road while an SUV buzzed right by him.  

In Clayton County the transportation department just installed exterior bus cameras.  What they captured in just the first three months was startling. They logged nearly 900 violations, drivers who just ignored the big, flashing stop sign.

"I don't know for sure why the numbers are so high, but I do know that the numbers are going to start coming down now because people start getting tickets," said Harold Walker, the Clayton County Director of Transportation.

The I-Team hopped a ride on a Clayton County bus.  Our cameras rolled as we watched several vehicles that morning pass by the flashing stop arm.  The company that monitors these cameras is still reviewing the cases, so no citations have been issued yet.

But later that day - on this same bus - several drivers were ticketed for failing to stop for this same school bus.  

Alarmed that Georgia ranked number one nationally for three years in a row for bus stop accidents, the state's First Lady Sandra Deal got behind the wheel of the awareness program "Stop Means Stop" hoping to U-turn a terrible trend.

As of April 24, the counties that issue citations have ticketed nearly 12,173 drivers since the beginning of the school year.  But here's the good news:  They tell us there are few repeat offenders.  And this might be a deterrent:  First-time offenders are fined $300.  A second offense gets you a $750 ticket.

Harold Walker said, "It's kind of like the seat belt law when it first started out; we had to keep reminding people to wear our seat belt and we have to continue to remind peoples with the flashing red light and the stop arms."

  • I-Team Story ArchiveMore>>

  • Good Day Atlanta

    Teaching your kids the value of money

    Teaching your kids the value of money

    Monday, September 15 2014 11:22 AM EDT2014-09-15 15:22:34 GMT
    We've all been tempted to buy that extra toy, or give those extra few dollars to our kids to buy something on impulse...but are those the best habits to pass along?
    We've all been tempted to buy that extra toy, or give those extra few dollars to our kids to buy something on impulse...but are those the best habits to pass along?
  • GA Lottery targets shadow winners

    GA Lottery targets shadow winners

    Sunday, September 14 2014 5:30 PM EDT2014-09-14 21:30:57 GMT
    The Georgia Lottery tells the Fox 5 I-Team it's launching a full-scale effort to crack down on so-called "shadow winners.
    The Georgia Lottery tells the Fox 5 I-Team it's launching a full-scale effort to crack down on so-called "shadow winners.
  • Graphic video of Forsyth Co. Courthouse shootout

    Graphic video of Forsyth Co. Courthouse shootout

    Thursday, September 11 2014 4:43 PM EDT2014-09-11 20:43:06 GMT
    FOX 5 has an extended clip of the dramatic shootout at the Forsyth County Courthouse.
    FOX 5 has an extended clip of the dramatic shootout at the Forsyth County Courthouse in June.
  • Contact the FOX 5 I-Team

    * denotes required fields

    We're sorry, but only one entry is allowed per person.
    Thank you for your continued interest.

    Thanks for contacting FOX 5.  To reach our newsroom by phone, please call (404) 898-0100.

  • Good Day ArchiveMore>>

  • Get educated with online classes

    Get educated with online classes

    Monday, September 15 2014 12:40 PM EDT2014-09-15 16:40:23 GMT
    Ever wanted to take classes but thought you didn't have the time or or you couldn't afford it? Well with more and more online options out there, you do and you can. And many of them are free.
    Ever wanted to take classes but thought you didn't have the time or or you couldn't afford it? Well with more and more online options out there, you do and you can. And many of them are free.
  • Good Day Explores The Wide World Of Gourds

    Good Day Explores The Wide World Of Gourds

    Monday, September 15 2014 11:36 AM EDT2014-09-15 15:36:21 GMT
    There's a chill of fall in the air, but that's not the only sign of the approaching change in season. Right now, pumpkin patches are opening around the region -- and whether you're planning on carving
    There's a chill of fall in the air, but that's not the only sign of the approaching change in season. Right now, pumpkin patches are opening around the region -- and whether you're planning on carving or cooking, there are dozens of varieties to choose from. Good Day Atlanta's Paul Milliken has a look from Dawsonville.
  • Good Day Atlanta

    Teaching your kids the value of money

    Teaching your kids the value of money

    Monday, September 15 2014 11:22 AM EDT2014-09-15 15:22:34 GMT
    We've all been tempted to buy that extra toy, or give those extra few dollars to our kids to buy something on impulse...but are those the best habits to pass along?
    We've all been tempted to buy that extra toy, or give those extra few dollars to our kids to buy something on impulse...but are those the best habits to pass along?
Powered by WorldNow

WJZY FOX 46
3501 Performance Rd.
Charlotte, NC 28214
Main Number: (704) 398-0046

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices