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Drivers caught on camera passing school buses

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Some drivers are passing by school buses loading and unloading Dripping Springs students on Highway 290.

"I sit here and I watch it everyday," explained Dennis who works along Highway 290.

Dennis says it's mostly drivers approaching the school bus traveling towards Dripping Springs. He did not want to show his face on camera but feels very strongly about the issue.

"It ticks me off and it makes me want to come out and stop traffic," he said.

The last stop for the school district is an RV park near the Hays and Travis county line.

FOX 7 spent an afternoon at the bus stop and spotted several vehicles pass the bus with flashing red lights on. Dennis says he sees that happen in the morning and afternoon most days.

"We are very concerned about it," explained Pam Swanks, the Dripping Springs ISD Director of Transportation.

She oversees 36 bus drivers who log a combined 3800 miles each school day. Swanks says sadly, this is not a new problem.

"I would say at least three times a week if not daily at a couple locations," Swanks said in regards to drivers passing school buses.

Over the years the district has reduced the number of stops along Highway 290. There are only three between Dripping Springs and the Travis County line which sees the most traffic.

"I think the turning lane is a source of confusion they think it might be a divided highway but its not," Swanks said. A divided highway has a grass or a physical barrier separating lanes of traffic according to DPS.

The speed limit is 65 miles per hour along the stretch of highway where the bus stops. Drivers will flash warning lights even earlier giving drivers a heads up.

Swanks hopes drivers will remember the law. Not only is it dangerous but she says fines have increased up to $1250.

"How do you miss a big yellow box with flashing lights," questions Dennis. He sees it happen too often and hopes drivers will stop for the bus.

Students always get on and off the bus to the right so they are never crossing traffic.

DISD says it's in the early phases of looking into adding cameras to the exterior of buses to catch violators.

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