Whitesboro school bus cameras catch drivers who don't stop

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WHITESBORO, Tex. (KXII) -- Whitesboro school buses are now recording everything vehicles do around them, catching the drivers that pass illegally when they stop to let kids off.

Whitesboro ISD Transportation Director Mike Pack said he's had too many close calls lately.

"It's just an act of God that none of those kids were killed," Pack said.

The problem is it happens so fast, it's difficult to catch the drivers.

"It seems this year we have had a tremendous amount of what we call red runners," Pack said.

With only two or three officers on duty at a time, it would be impossible to monitor all 14 buses.

"We're not always in the right place at the right time," Whitesboro Police Chief Scott Taylor said.

But now there's a solution.

"These cameras are always in the right place and the right time," Taylor said.

The law states that when a bus is stopped and its lights flashing, drivers are required to stop from both directions unless there is a defined median between the lanes.

And it's not taken lightly. Chief Taylor said you could face up to a $1,000 fine.

"They'll go around to the right and they're unloading kids and almost get struck, there's been a lot of close calls around town," Taylor said.

While no one was injured in these incidents, similar situations have ended much worse.

In 2016, a Chisum student was hit and seriously injured while she got off the school bus on Highway 82. The driver tried to pass on the shoulder.

"It's really dangerous, I don't think drivers realize just how fast they can kill a kid," Taylor said.

These cameras are always running, sending a message to drivers.

"There's really no excuse not to stop," Pack said.

The district spent about $10,000 for the whole system.

Van Alstyne school buses also have these cameras. Other districts like Denison ISD said they hope to get them in the near future.

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