Cameras on CMS buses to catch drivers passing illegally - | WBTV Charlotte

Cameras on CMS buses to catch drivers passing illegally

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Charlotte Mecklenburg School (CMS) district will have another tool to help prevent cars from passing stopped school buses this school year. Two CMS buses will have cameras to record cars that pass illegally.

The two buses will have four cameras on them. If a car passes, the bus driver will press the panic button and the cameras will start recording. The information will be given to police to locate the offender. The cameras cost about $3,000 per bus. The state is paying for the cameras. So far several hundred North Carolina school buses have the technology.

Officials want to bring awareness to this issue. On average in North Carolina, more than 3,000 cars per day pass a school bus while its stop arm is out. During the 2012-2013 school year, four students died because of a car passing a stopped school bus.

CMS bus driver Stephanie Brown remembers when a car passed her school bus. It happened last school year. A student was getting off her bus. Fortunately a parent was there to greet the child.

"I think it was a Chevrolet Caprice," the bus driver said. "It came around there and there was no way I could have gotten a tag that quick. It was just something out of the blue and that kid could have not been with us anymore."

Police say the fine for passing a stopped bus is $500. If a death or injury occurs, it is a felony.

Charlotte - Mecklenburg police say officers will be following bus on the first day of school looking for drivers passing stopped school buses.

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