Metro School Buses Still Without Cameras - FOX 13 News

FOX 5 I-Team

Metro School Buses Still Without Cameras

Posted: Updated:
CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. -

It's against the law to pass a school bus loading or unloading children, but an I-Team investigation revealed it's still a very dangerous problem that happens every day.

In response, many school districts have attached cameras to catch drivers who just whiz by the flashing red stop arm. But not all metro counties use these cameras yet.

Clayton County does. Bus driver Tamika Rawls has watched vehicles passing buses - nearly missing children - when they load and unload at the bus stop. It's against the law, but that doesn't always seem to matter.

"A lot of people do it on a regular basis until they see the ticket," said Tamika Rawls.

She can thank mom, Sherri Lewis, for that. The Cobb County mother never thought she'd be the one to take up a cause.

"Oh, no. Definitely didn't feel like that mom who would take up a cause."

Fed up and frightened after 5-year-old Karla Campos was killed in 2009 walking off a school bus, Ms. Lewis pushed lawmakers to make it easier to charge drivers. The first offense is now a $300 fine. A second - $750.

She said, "Let's create that deterrent. Everyone tells their friends -- no one passes school buses in Georgia, and hopefully, the kiddos are safer.

And stats back her up. School districts are reporting that there are few repeat offenders. But not all school districts have these cameras yet. Ten metro districts do, but some of the big ones don't.

Video from a pilot study in Gwinnett showed the state's largest school district had a real problem. It highlighted vehicle after vehicle passing a stopped bus. They hope to have cameras on board by fall. Atlanta plans to install them, too, but it doesn't have a timeline yet. DeKalb and Fulton are still studying the issue.

But these same four school districts do participate in a national effort to count once a year stop arm violations. Local bus drivers volunteer to count - nothing official, just by watching - just how many folks they see ignore a stopped bus in a single day. Last year, Atlanta, DeKalb, Fulton and Gwinnett tallied 3,359 drivers blowing by the stop arm all in one day.

In the past five years, four children in Georgia have died at bus stops. Too many. Cameras on buses are making a difference, but Sherri Lewis' awareness group called "Operation Stop Arm" said parents also need to change bad bus stop behavior.

"Racing your child up in a car to the bus stop and telling them to run to the bus is so dangerous," she said recalling watching this. "You do see that happen."

Admittedly, the rules about when to stop on four-lane highways are confusing. "Operation Stop Arm" has a great diagram that you should check out.

  • I-Team Story ArchiveMore>>

  • Credit Cards v Charge Cards

    Credit Cards v Charge Cards

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 7:48 AM EDT2014-07-23 11:48:23 GMT
    You always hear that it's a great idea to get rid of your credit cards, but sometimes it really is the best way to pay. So here's another option: charge cards.
    You always hear that it's a great idea to get rid of your credit cards, but sometimes it really is the best way to pay. So here's another option: charge cards.
  • FOX 5 I-Team Investigates

    Child traumatically injured in beach house elevator

    Child traumatically injured in beach house elevator

    Monday, July 21 2014 8:09 AM EDT2014-07-21 12:09:54 GMT
    Another child has been seriously injured in a residential elevator accident. This is a warning for any family renting a beach house.
    Another child has been seriously injured in a residential elevator accident. This is a warning for any family renting a beach house.
  • Governor reacts to Ethics allegations

    Governor reacts to Ethics allegations

    Friday, July 18 2014 6:40 PM EDT2014-07-18 22:40:07 GMT
    The Governor sat down with Senior Fox 5 I-Team Reporter Dale Russell for his first television interview following allegations of strong-arming by a member of his staff.
    The Governor sat down with Senior Fox 5 I-Team Reporter Dale Russell for his first television interview following allegations of strong-arming by a member of his staff.
  • 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>>

  • Back to School Jamboree with Hosea Feed The Hungry

    Back to School Jamboree with Hosea Feed The Hungry

    Hosea Feed the Hungry will host their annual Back to School Jamboree on Sunday, July 13, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at Turner Field. Children will receive a backpack filled with school supplies.

    Hosea Feed the Hungry will host their annual Back to School Jamboree on Sunday, July 13, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at Turner Field. Children will receive a backpack filled with school supplies.

  • Man bikes 900 miles to help Georgia girl

    Man bikes 900 miles to help Georgia girl

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 9:40 PM EDT2014-07-24 01:40:42 GMT
    Ten time Ironman, Dave Nazaroff recently rode 900 miles on his bicycle...from Nyack, New York...to Georgia. He didn't do it to get in shape, or to win a competition; he did it to raise money for a 11 year old Callie Truelove in Gainesville, Georgia.
    Ten time Ironman, Dave Nazaroff recently rode 900 miles on his bicycle...from Nyack, New York...to Georgia. He didn't do it to get in shape, or to win a competition; he did it to raise money for a 11 year old Callie Truelove in Gainesville, Georgia.
  • 2014 Southern Living inspired home open for tours

    2014 Southern Living inspired home open for tours

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 9:37 AM EDT2014-07-23 13:37:06 GMT
    It's the first of its kind -- and if you're goal is to live a "perfectly Southern" lifestyle, it might be the home for you. The 2014 Southern Living Inspired Home is now open in Toccoa,
    It's the first of its kind -- and if you're goal is to live a "perfectly Southern" lifestyle, it might be the home for you. The 2014 Southern Living Inspired Home is now open in Toccoa, GA at Currahee Club.
Powered by WorldNow

FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
3213 West Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, Florida 33609
Main: (813) 876-1313
Newsroom: (813) 870-9630
Fax: (813) 871-3135

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