School officials encourage school bus safety

School officials encourage school bus safety

JONES COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - With school back in session, Lori McJohnson is staying busy encouraging people across the country to be on the lookout for kids loading and unloading school buses.

"These last few days, I've been assisting in bus driver training," McJohnson said.

In 2009, McJohnson was behind the school bus when her son Nathan was hit and killed by a driver who passed his school bus as he was getting off.

Now she wants to make sure no other parent goes through the same tragedy.

"From that point forward through us getting legislation passed, which is entitled Nathan's Law," McJohnson added.

McJohnson said in Mississippi a bus gets illegally passed nearly 5,000 times a day.

"I think that a lot of motorists are impatient," McJohnson said.

Jones County Transportation Director Terry Graham said drivers that don't follow the law will be prosecuted.

"We want to make sure it's just a traffic violation when someone runs the stop arm on the school bus instead of a tragedy," Graham explained.

School officials in Jones County now have cameras installed outside of the buses. Last year they prosecuted 16 drivers who illegally passed.

"If the bus driver reports that someone runs that stop arm, we're going to pull that tag number, we're going to go to justice court and we're going to file charges on these folks," Graham added.