Athens City Schools cracks down on impatient drivers with exterior school bus cameras

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ATHENS, Ala. - School buses are back on the roads and Athens City Schools has re-activated their bus cams to catch impatient drivers.

Superintendent Trey Holladay said bus drivers already have a pretty tough job, so an extra set of eyes never hurts.

"You got somebody that is driving the bus with up to 75 kids in it," explained Holladay. "They're all behind them. Therefore, the need for cameras is super important interior."

There are seven cameras inside each bus and one outside as well.

"You know texting has become a bigger issue, distracted driving overall has become a bigger issue. So we're making sure we have something that we are able to report to police," explained Holladay.

The outside cameras are positioned under the school bus stop signs to catch drivers who pass them.

"We're not necessarily trying to just get people in trouble. But if people are going to blatantly or defiantly, you know, run a school bus stop sign and we don't have any choice but to protect kids," Holladay added.

Alabama law forbids drivers from passing a stopped school bus in nearly every case.

Drivers must remain stopped until the bus resumes motion.

The camera logs your vehicle's information so that it can be submitted to police if necessary.

"You're going to get your license plate taken, and the make and model of your vehicle within a matter of seconds," said Holladay.

Athens City Schools said they are being proactive, rather than reactive.

"We've not had a student hit here," Holladay explained. "But there have been several school systems, you know, over time."

He said student safety is the bottom line.

"Our business is to educate children," Holladay added. "But our number one thing we do, from the time they get on our school buses to the time we drop them back off and all in between is to make sure our kids are safe as possible."

Athens City Schools said the cameras aren't a new tool, the system just wants to remind drivers that someone is always watching and those impatient drivers could face consequences.

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