LAMAR COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - With school back in session, many parents are thinking about school bus safety.
For a child, the outside of a bus can be the most dangerous part of the ride home, if a driver ignores the school bus stop sign.
"You do worry about those who just pass by and not pay attention, whether its intentional or not," Leketha Hughes said, a Pine Belt parent.
Reports show that motorist illegally pass school buses nearly 13 million times each year, and on average 19 children are killed getting on and off the bus.
About a quarter of school buses in the Lamar County School District have cameras mounted to the outside of the school bus to record motorists illegally passing.
"It doesn't happen as regularly as it does in a major metropolitan area," Transportation Director Pat Kribbs said.
Kribbs said about 15 cases of people illegally passing county school buses were reported last year and this school year six cases have been reported.
"Every time we get a report that a school bus has been passed, we do pull the tapes from the bus and we do look at the tape itself to get an idea of what actually happened. We also get a description of the car and license plates," Kribbs said.
Kribbs said the fine for illegally passing a school bus can be as high as $750 and can also result in jail time. He said cameras can help to reduce the number of violations.
"It leaves them knowing that they can if they choose to pass a school bus that is loading and unloading children and they can be prosecuted for that," Kribbs said.
All school buses in the Lamar County School District have cameras mounted on the inside of the school buses. Kribbs said the county plans to get more cameras mounted on the outside of school buses.