MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) – If you passed a Mobile County school bus illegally within the last month, you’ll probably be getting a hefty fine in the mail soon.
A state law enacted last year is equipping school busses with multiple cameras to catch violators in an effort to make bus stops safer for children.
In exclusive video obtained by WKRG, a red pickup truck is seen zooming past an MCPSS bus nearly three seconds after the stop arm is fully deployed. The new camera system captured four different angles of the driver, including his tag number.
Ken Kvalheim, the quality control specialist for the MCPSS Transportation Department, said even though they started installing the cameras back in December, they didn’t work out the kinks to start issuing citations till mid-January. He says 150 busses are already equipped with the cameras and 150 more will be added to the list by early March. By the start of the new school year, every bus will be equipped with the cameras.
“This is a tool we’ve been long needing to help address this situation that really puts children at great risk,” Kvalheim said.
State Representative Margi Wilcox pushed for the legislation to equip school busses with cameras after friends of hers who drive school busses complained about the problem.
“One of the things that they said was absolutely scary — [happening] at least once or twice a day — [is when] someone runs around the stop arm, and they are just petrified. They’re sitting in the driver’s seat honking,” Wilcox said.
Mobile County is the first school system in the state to use the cameras.