WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Tenn. — A school district here has teamed up with local law enforcement agencies to address school bus safety concerns.
On Tuesday, Williamson County Schools released a series of public service announcements (PSAs) aimed at reducing the number of incidents involving the illegal passing of stopped school buses by motorists, according to a news release from the district. The videos feature representatives from Brentwood, Franklin, Fairview, Nolensville, and Spring Hill Police Departments as well as the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office. (View one of the PSAs, "It's Yellow for a Reason," here.)
“Williamson County Schools transports about 20,000 students a day, using hundreds of buses,” Dr. Mike Looney, the superintendent for the district, said at a press conference. “Our record is really good, and we have very few incidents. But every single day, it appears, we have people who are violating the law because they are not knowledgeable of it or they’re just ignoring it.”
Jeff Fuller, the director of transportation for Williamson County Schools, noted that in a single day last year, law enforcement reported 18 cases in which drivers passed stopped school buses. Fuller added that most of the school bus passing incidents in the county occur on rural roads.
Officer Joe LeCates from Franklin Police Department stressed the importance of urging members of the public to report illegal stop-arm running incidents.
“This is actually a collective effort. It’s not just us, it’s not just Brentwood, or the sheriff’s department,” LeCates said at the press conference. “It is the citizenry. We need those people to call in and let us know. It’s the technology age, use your cellphone, and take a video or picture.”