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Bloomington school bus cameras catch bad drivers

In the city of Bloomington the schools are trying to put a stop to a big problem.
Shots from the bus camera

BLOOMINGTON - In the city of Bloomington the schools are trying to put a stop to a big problem.

Last school year the district installed a few cameras on the outside near the driver's area of school buses in an attempt to catch people who dangerously pass the bus when it is stopped and kids are getting on and off.

It worked and in one clip Bloomington Schools Transportation Director Tom Oestreich showed us three vehicles blew by a bus in just one stop.

It is traffic violation and obviously incredibly dangerous if any kids try to run in from the left side.

"You can't always control the unpredictable part of a child running from another location thinking cars will stop and they don't stop," Oestreich said.

The camera starts rolling the moment the driver pulls over and activates the lights and stop arm.

Every time a driver sees a person pass while the bus is stopped he or she hits a button to flag it on the video.

That image is then sent to the Bloomington Police Department.

What happened in last year's term is shocking.

Over the course of the 9-month school year Bloomington issued 340 tickets to drivers who passed the buses illegally.

What's worse, there were actually more than 400 caught on tape but some couldn't be found to give a citation.

So its good news for the district that the cameras are working but it's hard to accept for those charged to keep kids safe on board.

"Just not paying attention and we have young children that don't understand the concept of traffic or how quick a car is going and they could get hurt so it's very frustrating," Oestreich said.

The cameras cost about a thousand dollars to purchase and operate; the district has 6 of them right now but hopes to acquire more.

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