EASTERN SHORE, Md. — As the school year winds down, the safety of students getting to and from school is still on our minds. Especially in Queen Anne's County where they are considering installing cameras on the outside of buses to catch those driver that don't pay attention to a stopped bus.
Every day, during the school year, drivers ignore the bright red sign with blinking lights attached to a big yellow bus. This happens thousands of times a month in Marylard and Queen Anne's county is no exception.
"They are endangering the lives of kids that are getting on and off the bus," said Commissioner Phil Dumenil.
Commissioner Dumenil is one of the county commissioners in Queen Anne's county. He and his other commissioners want to make the commute for students back and forth from school safer. They are considering having cameras installed to identify drivers that ignore a stopped school bus and drive right around. This is not a new concept for the county, they have cameras on the inside of the buses already.
"It would be nice if we could have sheriff's deputies following our buses, that's just not possible. This is the way we can capture evidence on film of a violator and the Sheriff's office can act on it," said Commissioner Dumenil.
"If it saves one life of a child it's worth it," said Billy Willis.
Willis has been driving buses for almost 30 years. His number one priority is the students. Willis says some days nobody will pass his stopped bus, other days he says it happens two or three times a day.
"Now, as a bus driver, we try to get a tag number, but most times you have kids on the bus and you can't jot down a tag number," said Willis.
Willis currently owns four buses, and he tells me since he's been driving, he's seen a change in driver habits.
"I think it's getting worse, people texting and talking on the cell phones. It's a bigger problem then what everybody believes," said Willis.
There is a commissioners meeting this Tuesday for community input or you can go to the meeting on June 11 when they are expected to vote to install cameras to catch those who ignore those flashing lights and stop signs.
"Oh yeah. You start handing out $500 fines for running lights, it will make a big difference," said Willis.