KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A parent here who is upset about motorists illegally passing school buses as students are unloading has shot several videos catching them in the act, WATE reports.
As Ellie Whitesell waits for her daughter to get off the bus at her bus stop every school day, she watches cars drive past the bus, and told the news source that she feels helpless. She has recorded at least a dozen videos of the cars illegally passing the bus, according to WATE, and told the news source that she has sent the videos to the Knox County Schools Transportation Department, law enforcement officials and lawmakers, because she knows her daughter isn’t the only student in danger.
School bus driver Tony Williams told the news source that there is rarely a day in which no motorists illegally pass his bus. The Knoxville Police Department and Knox County Sheriff’s Office told WATE that they aren’t getting reports of motorists illegally passing buses, but if a motorist was caught, the charge would be a Class C misdemeanor of overtaking or passing a school bus.
Meanwhile, state Rep. Jason Zachary is sponsoring a bill that would allow school districts to place cameras on the outside of school buses to catch motorists who do not stop for the buses. The bill, HB0910, has passed the House Transportation Committee and now moves onto another committee.
Another bill related to school bus safety is being considered by state lawmakers; HB1484 would stiffen penalties for school bus drivers who use a portable electronic device while driving or loading students.
Watch one of Whitesell’s videos below.