EUREKA SPRINGS, Ark. (KY3) — Eureka Springs School District is adding cameras to the sides of schools buses to catch people illegally passing them. The cameras can see everything from the car to the driver inside.
Pat Todd has been a Eureka Springs school bus driver for four years.
During that time he has seen plenty of people illegally pass when he turns on his lights to stop. “Some of them don’t even slow down,” said Todd, “I’ve seen them [drivers] on cell phones while they’re going by. And the hardest part for us is trying to ID who is driving, and the car, the make, model, so forth.”
But now the school district has different cameras. The cameras can record the details of the car when the driver makes the wrong decision to pass a bus when it turns its lights on preparing to stop — or is already stopped.
School leaders can then show police.
Eureka Springs School District’s Transportation Director John Kesler says this is a reoccurring problem in the state, especially because of distracted driving. “During a one-day survey, we had 884 people in Arkansas pass our school buses statewide.”
They’re hoping these cameras will bring awareness to the problem — and hold the people not paying attention accountable.
Parent and teacher Tilenna Hill likes the technology, “it’s just a weight lifted off knowing my kids are being watched over all the time, even when I’m not there.”
“If one of these kids is accidentally hit by somebody just answering a phone or answering a text, it would be an absolute tragedy,” said Todd.
This year Arkansas passed a law stating if you pass a school bus illegally you could face a fine between $500 to $2,500.
The cameras are expected to be on all buses next week.