LINCOLN COUNTY, GA (WFXG) - Summer's wrapping up and students across the CSRA are packing their school bags to get ready for class. As the school zone lights start flashing, officials say it's important to remind residents that it's illegal in all fifty states to pass a bus while it's stopped and unloading kids. But, unfortunately, they see it all the time.
Fred Scott is the Lincoln County transportation director and said he doesn't take that responsibility lightly. "You're carrying 60 to 66 students in them. It's a big responsibility."
That's why the district is beginning to install cameras on the outside of a few of its twenty-three buses. Scott said it's to keep the students safe and to hold the drivers accountable who put them at risk. "It takes your picture and the tags picture. There's no way of getting by it."
Tickets for passing a bus can hit your pockets for upwards of $1,000. So, here's what you need to know if you end up sharing the road with one of these buses: If you're riding on a road with no physical median between the lanes, it doesn't matter what side of the street you're on, you have to stop when the bus's lights are flashing and the arm extends. If you're on the opposite side of the road with a bus where a median is separating the two vehicles, you can keep driving. But, it's still important to be very careful just in case students are crossing the street.
The cameras will cost the district around $1,200 for each bus; an investment Rita Partlow, a parent we spoke with, said is worth every penny. "Great! Because I've seen some of the pictures that people run around. It would scare me to death knowing my child was there. Just slow down and be mindful of the children."
FOX 54 reached out to Columbia and Richmond Counties to ask if they had exterior cameras on the buses. Officials from both districts said they have cameras on the inside to monitor the students, but nothing set up on the outside, just yet.