South Callaway County school district installs new bus cameras

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CALLAWAY COUNTY - The South Callaway County School district transportation department installed new cameras on its buses to help crack down drivers who ignore the bus stop signs. The new cameras are a few feet under the stop signs, and can turn to face forwards or backwards.

“This new camera we’ve added simply tells me about a stop sign violation, and that is a vehicle passing our school bus as we’re stopped loading or unloading students,” said director of transportation Donnie DeBrodie.

The school district is working with the Callaway County Sheriff’s Department to better identify and ticket violators.

Sheriff Clay Chism said, “That’s just not your routine traffic offense. That’s not doing five miles over the speed limit. Going around a school bus with a stop arm activated, stop lights activated, especially while children are entering or discharging, that’s a serious manner.”

The new camera installation comes after several reports of stop sign violations over the past few years.

“We’ve had incidences to where we’ve had buses stopped loading or unloading students and a vehicle will come around it, we had a couple of those last year, so we’re looking into these camera systems as a way to help stop that,” DeBrodie said.

While the violation may not be seen very often, the sheriff’s department does still see it each school year.

"It does happen more than you think. In a given year, we probably average five to ten complaints county wide from all of the school districts put together,” Chism said.

South Callaway County schools start Aug. 10, meaning buses will be out traveling the 189 square miles of the district in the mornings and afternoons.

“We recommend everyone be cognizant of the fact school is going to be starting, there’s going to be many buses out running the rural roads, and many of those rural roads have hills and curves, and if you're going too fast, if you go over a hill or around a curve you may not have time to get stopped adequately for a bus that is stopped at a child’s residence,” Chism said.

All of South Callaway County’s school buses have four cameras inside of the bus already, along with a tracking system.