MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The Bibb County School District is working to put cameras on the outside of school buses. The cameras are an addition to the district’s “Stop Arm” campaign. Bibb county wants to make students are getting to and from school safely.
“The loading and unloading process is the by far,” said Director of Transportation, Anthony Jackson. “The most dangerous time of the school bus trip.”
Jackson used to drive a big yellow bus.
“I have seen first hand, vehicles passing the bus during the process of loading and unloading,” said Jackson.
Bus drivers already have to make sure that students get to and from school safely. So when drivers do commit violations, they don’t even have time to take down their license plate numbers.
Each year the county participates in a national survey where they pick one day in April to document violations. The average amount for the last three years is 116 violations per day. That averages to more than 20,000 violations per school year.
“We just want to bring more awareness to it and make sure that vehicles are stopping,” said Jackson.
So the district wants to put cameras on the buses.
“The cameras will be mounted on the outside of the bus near the stop arm itself,” said Jackson. “When the stop arm is extended and the lights are flashing, not only does the camera pick up the vehicles that pass it also picks up the fact that the stop arm is out and activated.”
Major Eric Walker says the cameras will also help the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office, since they can’t be everywhere at once.
“When see a violation, they will send it to us, for approval that it is a violation or no it’s not a violation,” said Major Walker. “We’d make that determination.”
Drivers could receive citations up to a thousand dollars.
“We want to make sure the public is aware,” said Jackson. “It’s not a gotcha tool. It’s really about awareness cause our ultimate goal is to reduce the number of violations that are happening on a daily basis.”
The funding for the cameras won’t cost the county any money. It’ll be paid for with the income from the citations. Before this happens, Macon-Bibb commissioners will have to vote to approve the ordinance. That will be decided on Tuesday. If everything goes as planned, the district is hoping to have the cameras up within the next year.