Increased Violations Prompt Chesterfield Schools To Consider Cameras for Buses

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A few months ago, Amy Ford’s five-year-old son Ollie was struck by a car while he was getting on the bus.

“The school bus comes and we turns on her light down the way, and she comes to a stop. So she’s got the doors open, and as he’s crossing the road a little bit to get unto the bus, a little red car comes and smacks him into the air.”

Ollie was taken to the hospital and suffered abdominal trauma.

“I’m still furious, I’m still furious,” Ford said. “He had no business violating bus laws, it is so Driving 101 — that you don’t come around the bus.”

In Chesterfield, new numbers from a pilot program show a shocking number of violations.

The county placed cameras on give buses for about a month. The video records license plate numbers of drivers who ignore the blinking stop signs. Then, violators get a ticket in the mail.

In that period of time, there were 216 violations or an average of 6.75 a day. The national average is .75 per day.

“You see a bus, you know there are children inside, and you should not take chances.”

The school board wants video cameras on the stop-arm of about 100 other buses.

“I think it’s a great idea,” Jen Beasley, another Chesterfield mother said. “There are so many kids on these buses and parents rely on them to get them to school and home or to daycare or wherever safely.”

Ford agrees as well.

“I think the cameras are going to help people understand that we take our children’s safety seriously,” she said. “I live every day lucky, that my child is still alive, but if he wasn’t — that’s my whole world.”

School officials believe the program will pay for itself with money coming from those caught red-handed.

The Board of Supervisors must approve the ordinance before it becomes official.

Stay with 8News for updates on this developing story.

 

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