About 32,000 students will be returning to Muscogee County Schools this Wednesday. Many of those kids get to school by riding the bus.
Georgia is #1 in the nation in school bus fatalities. There haven't been any in Muscogee County, but bus drivers have reported over 300 violations the past two years. One recent change to school buses, is bringing down this number.
The Muscogee County School District installed 50 stop-arm cameras on school buses last year. So far, they've seen a decrease in violations. Frank Brown, the Director of Transportation of the Muscogee County School District, says there were 142 violations by motorists running through stop-arms in 2012. That's half of the nearly 300 violations in 2011. Brown says a big part of the decrease is because of the stop-arm cameras.
"If you look at the records, that's where most fatalities come from, running the stop arm," says Brown.
The school district also puts on two bus driver training's and five workshops a year. These are to ensure bus drivers are exercising safe practices. Brown says he sets high standards for his bus drivers.
"Out of the 300+ drivers, we feel really good about them, parents can rest assured that their babies are in good hands," says Brown.
The penalty to a driver breaking the law is a $300 fine for the first offense, $750 for the second offense and $1,000 for the third offense within a five-year period.
Additional tips Brown gives to ensure school bus safety:
Muscogee County was the 2nd school district in Georgia to install the stop-arm cameras.
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