CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) -
Chesterfield schools want to crack down on drivers speeding past school buses with flashing stop signs.
The school system is considering putting cameras on school buses to catch those drivers and hit them with hefty fines.
"We were made aware by several parents of issues involving cars running the red stop sign that comes out on the bus," says Tim Bullis with Chesterfield County Schools.
Bullis says they weren't sure of how big the problem was, so they agreed to participate in a pilot program and installed cameras on the outside of five buses to catch impatient drivers in the act when the flashing stop sign was out.
In 32 days, they caught more than 200 violators.
"I was as surprised as everyone else," says Donald Wilms of the Chestefield Education Association. "I would never have thought that the number would be that high.
That's just from five buses over a month. Chesterfield County has more than 500 buses that run daily.
"That puts our students obviously in danger and we want to do what we can to provide that safe environment for the students," Bullis says.
The cameras catch the license plates of drivers not stopping, who will face a $250 fine. A portion of that money will go to the school system.
The cost to install cameras on all buses is expected to pay for itself within a year and make money for the school system after that.
Officials say more importantly, they believe it will deter drivers from passing buses.
"I think this is just a great way to prevent the possibility of accidents," Wilms says.
The Chesterfield school system hopes to have the cameras installed by the beginning of next school year.Copyright 2014 by Young Broadcasting of RichmondRelated Stories: