How safe are your kids on and off the school bus? - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

How safe are your kids on and off the school bus?

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some school bus drivers are getting spotted and caught violating some rules of the road too. some school bus drivers are getting spotted and caught violating some rules of the road too.
While motor vehicle drivers tend to get caught violating the rules of the road most you might be surprised to find out that some school bus drivers aren't always much better behind the wheel. While motor vehicle drivers tend to get caught violating the rules of the road most you might be surprised to find out that some school bus drivers aren't always much better behind the wheel.
Some school bus drivers are getting spotted and caught violating some rules of the road too. Some school bus drivers are getting spotted and caught violating some rules of the road too.
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

You might not be surprised to hear about drivers getting pulled over for violating school zone safety laws, but some school bus drivers are getting spotted and caught violating some rules of the road too.

Jackson Police Department Officer Mark Hodges helped us spot numerous school zone violators on Old Canton Road in Jackson.

"We're looking for speeding violations, people that are driving over the allowed speed for school zones," explained Officer Hodges.

It didn't take long to spot a driver speeding in a school zone. Derrick Griffith was caught speeding during his morning commute.

"I just became a teacher, my first day," Griffith said.

The new teacher was clocked at 25 miles per hour in the 15 mile per hour school zone. Griffith wasn't the only one speeding near schools though. JPD Officer Lafayette Martin pulled over several drivers caught speeding near Blackburn Middle School.

"If a child or say the crossing guard walked out and he didn't see him or was messing with his phone or talking or whatever just that speed he wouldn't be able to stop in time without hitting a kid," explained Officer Martin.

If you're caught in a school zone speeding up to nine miles per hour over the speed limit you'll face a $179 ticket. Getting clocked at 10 miles per hour over a school zone speed limit will cost you $189 and the costs keep rising from there.

While motor vehicle drivers tend to get caught violating the rules of the road most you might be surprised to find out that some school bus drivers aren't always much better behind the wheel.

We spoke a JPS bus driver anonymously. The driver said most JPS drivers are good, but there are some you want to watch out for. The driver we spoke to knows of colleagues cursing at kids, smoking on buses and thinks some bus drivers even come to work under the influence.

"Do I think some people come intoxicated to work yes, I do think that, but there's no proof," the JPS bus driver said.

We're told cell phone use on school buses is also common, even though, with the exception of emergency situations, it's a violation of Nathan's Law. The legislation is named after five year-old Nathan Key of Laurel who died when a motorist hit him getting off his school bus.

"I see drivers driving down Northside Drive or Terry Road driving down the street on the phone," this bus driver said.

School bus speeding is also a concern. Victor King lives near the JPS bus barn in South Jackson. King walks to work and said he sees buses leaving the bus barn going possibly forty to fifty miles per hour.

"I've almost been hit a couple of times by the cars and the buses," said King.

The morning we checked the area out drivers were driving well below the 25 mph speed limit near the JPS South Transportation headquarters. While we didn't catch any speeding buses on camera we did spot several drivers not following a basic safety rule, wearing a seatbelt.

We reached out to the Jackson Public School District about the allegations made against some bus drivers and we received this statement in response:

"The Jackson Public School District is accountable and responsible for the safe and reliable transportation of its students. In doing so, the transportation department constantly evaluates its procedures and provides training to drivers to make the best possible decisions suited for the safety of over 20,000 students who ride buses daily. We continuously review our safety procedures with our drivers to ensure the most appropriate protocol is being employed on a daily basis."

Regardless of what type of vehicle you're driving, remember that the choices you make behind the wheel can make the difference between life and death.

Griffith said he now knows not to "Speed in the school zone and pay attention to how many schools are in the area."

You're asked to call police if you spot speeders and other traffic violators. It may not seem like a big deal, but you never know whose life you could save.

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