S.C. law gives citations to school bus stop sign violators

The wheels on the bus may go round and round, but when those wheels brake and the stop sign comes out, the wheels on some cars just keep going. In one instance captured on a school bus-mounted camera, a little boy doesn’t look both ways as cars speed through a school bus stop sign, almost hitting him.

“It can be scary!” says Marion County School District Bus Driver Marilyn Williams. She’s run into similar situations.

“I toot my horn to scare the kids so they can freeze, and that’s what happened,” Williams says. “They froze but the lady kept going.”

It’s a problem she says she reports almost every day.

She’s not alone. News 13 was on the route of this Marion School bus Tuesday afternoon. At its first stop, a car races through just moments before its red lights flash.

“If they run one stop sign they’ll run another, and they’ll get caught,” Williams says.

The S.C. Education Department conducts a one-day study every year on school bus stop sign violators.

Last year, it found 429 vehicles blowing past school bus stop signs in a single day. A first violation in S.C. can cost you 500 bucks or thirty days in jail, plus six points on your drivers’ license.

But school bus drivers catching violators can be difficult, explains Marion County School District Transportation Director Tim Perkins.

“They have to try to identify the driver, get the license tag, but at the same time, look out for the safety of the kids. So it’s kinda hard for them to come up with all that information that’s needed,” Perkins says.

A new law in S.C. allows traffic citations to be issued to drivers passing school bus stop signs if those buses are equipped with cameras to prove the violations. The cameras run between $300-$400. But school leaders in Marion County say they’re looking to purchase some for each bus.

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