School buses using cameras to hand out tickets

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Friday, Aug. 8th, 2014

Aiken County Area 1 bus routes have changed drastically for the 2010-2011 school year, causing delays on the first day of school. (August 16, 2010 / WRDW-TV)

(WRDW) --- Students in Mcduffie County went back to school today joining thousands of others already hitting the books.

Even more buses will be on the road Monday when Richmond County students go back. So drivers beware. A new law in South Carolina is making sure you're following the rules of the road, even if a law enforcement officer isn't there to catch you.

South Carolina is using video like this to make those people who don't stop pay up.

"Some kids all they have is to ride the bus, and you need to protect them. You need to keep them safe," said Susan Polk.

The new law allows highway patrol to use video evidence to hand out tickets to those who fly by. Before, an officer had to witness someone illegally passing to give them a ticket. This law means a lot to parents like Polk.

"They're little kids most of the time, and they don't pay attention they run and if someone isn't paying attention to the stop sign that's on the side of the bus they could kill a child," Polk said.

She knows a child who got hit by car walking to the school bus a while back in Aiken County, but just last year across the river in Richmond County 8-year-old Jaidyn Williams was hit and killed walking to the bus. Scott Hancock, 20, was arrested for failing to stop for a school bus and is facing vehicular homicide charges.

"The danger is this main drag right here," James Towns said.

Towns lives right down the road from where Williams was hit. Towns says even after that tragedy it hasn't gotten better.

"Instead of just hey there's a bus stop, let me go ahead and stop. They just keep on flying," Towns said.

Buses in Richmond County could be getting similar cameras to the ones catching bad drivers in South Carolina. The buses already have cameras inside but not on the outside.

Those cameras cost 1,500 dollars per bus and the Richmond County Board of Education Police Department tells News 12 they are working to get some.

"What a lot of people don't think hey that could be my kid or my cousins kid or my aunts kid," Towns said.

Just a reminder, drivers heading in both directions have to stop for a school bus on a two lane road. On a four lane road, drivers going in the same direction of the bus have to stop.

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