Drivers caught on video illegally passing school bus - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Drivers caught on video illegally passing school bus

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How safe are your children when they get on and off their school bus? Tuesday morning a cell phone camera was rolling as a school bus unloaded children at 8th and Congress, four drivers sped past. Two of those violators work for a city agency.

They didn't know they were being recorded, the cell phone video says it all.

You see one vehicle after another disregard the flashing lights.

There were a total of four violators in less than 30 seconds.

"Obviously it's a safety issue because little children, of course they don't know the traffic laws, they don't know when they can cross," said APD Sr. Officer Jermaine Kilgore.

In the City of Austin if you're caught passing a school bus the fine is $552. What can cost even more is injuring someone or taking their life.

"We did look at the video and we did see that two of our vehicles did improperly pass the school buses," said Capital Metro Communications Manager Francine Pares.

Capital Metro says safety comes first. They are conducting their own internal investigation that could take anywhere from three to five days. At a minimum, they will be issuing an alert to all of their drivers reminding them of the law.

"We may in fact use this story today as an opportunity to show them what was not done properly and what the proper response should have been in that situation, which was certainly to come to a stop," said Pares.

In the worst case, the driver could be suspended or even terminated.

Within the last two years, 157 Austin drivers were in violation and cited for passing a school bus. APD tells us the bigger the vehicle, the more dangerous the outcome can be.

"Bigger vehicles take a longer time to stop, normally. So if it's a bigger vehicle like a bus, or 18-wheeler, or a large SUV, if they need to stop instantly, of course it's going to take them a longer time to stop," said Kilgore.

His message for the violators in this video is to pay attention. One of the most severe traffic tickets you can get is for passing a school bus.

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