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Albemarle County School Bus Cameras - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Albemarle County School Bus Cameras

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The law requires you to stop for a school bus that's letting people on or off, but not everyone abides by that law.

Thursday, Albemarle County Schools will discuss a new measure to keep kids safe from people speeding past buses.

The Albemarle County School Transportation Department will ask the school board, in its Thursday evening meeting, to consider approving cameras on buses in order to catch people speeding past when they're supposed to stop. It's a problem transportation administrators are hoping to crack down on so they can keep students safe on their commute to and from school.

Currently, if someone speeds past a stopped school bus, there's not much that can be done. Bus drivers, or anyone else that witnesses the offense, can take down the license plate number of the offender and contact police, but that's not easy to do, especially when a car is speeding past.

The new cameras would catch the license plates of offenders and send them to police.

Susan Tapscott is the lead bus driver at Red Hill Elementary School in Albemarle. She said when people speed past her stopped bus as she's letting kids on or off, it's a disaster waiting to happen.

"If you see the warning lights come on, just start preparing to slow down and stop," she said. "That's the best thing you can do and it will only take a moment."

William Deane, the assistant director of the school transportation department, agrees.

"The problem is, things may look great when the (bus) driver stops. There's no one around, and then all of a sudden someone just comes by and blows past the bus; it's very scary for the driver, and for the students as well," he said.

Nearly 50 speeders have been submitted to county police by members of the transportation department this school year alone.

Deane said that if approved, the cameras would be funded by violators with no cost to the county.  "The main focus is not to get citizens cited and fined, but to keep kids safe," he said.

Deane will give a presentation at the school board meeting Thursday, asking members to consider the school bus cameras. That meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at Lane Auditorium in the Albemarle County Office Building.

If it moves forward, the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors would have to approve the cameras as well.

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