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School Bus Cameras Put Focus On Illegal Passing

School bus
Dave DeWitt

Law enforcement will soon have a new tool to catch motorists who illegally pass stopped school buses. School districts are in the process of installing more external cameras that are activated when the bus stops. The cameras capture images of license plates and motorists that pass the buses while they are stopped.

School officials say the new cameras will help keep more kids safe.

“We know when we get them on the school bus, that’s the safest environment for them traveling to and from school,” says Derek Graham, the director of transportation services for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. “But the whole process of getting on and off the school bus when we have a motoring public that is more distracted than ever and is not paying attention to the stopped school bus and the flashing lights, that’s a real issue.”

About 3,000 drivers a day illegally pass school buses in North Carolina. The fund for school districts to purchase the cameras comes from money the General Assembly saved when it extended the maximum mileage limit for purchasing new buses.

Dave DeWitt is WUNC's Feature News Editor. As an editor, reporter, and producer he's covered politics, environment, education, sports, and a wide range of other topics.
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