Drivers urged to not pass stopped school buses

Drivers urged to not pass stopped school buses

JONES COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - With schools back in session in the Pine Belt, officials are warning drivers to be on the lookout for kids loading on and off school buses.

Jones County Transportation Director Terry Graham said when red lights are flashing and the stop signs come out, it is important for drivers to remember to stop.

"It's a big problem," Graham said. "Each year we have close calls and we have students that almost get hit. We prosecute people almost monthly."

Lori McJohnson's son was killed nearly six years ago when he was hit by a driver who illegally crossed his school bus. She said it is important that bus drivers and students know how to properly load and unload school buses.

"The children that are loading and unloading that stopped (the) school bus; they need to wait for a signal from a bus driver as to when it's okay to do so," McJohnson said.

Graham said some buses in the Jones County School District are equipped with cameras to catch violators.

"We put these tag readers and cameras on the sides of buses and if you pass a school bus, chances are we're going to get that tag number and we're going to prosecute you," Graham said.

For more school bus safety tips, click here.