The Clayton County transportation director is defending his department against allegations its bus stop sign cameras are unfair.
Channel 2 Action News' Tom Jones learned a driver got a $300 ticket after a bus suddenly put out the stop sign and he ran it. He said he had a little over a second before it came out and he didn’t have time to stop.
"From the time the stop sign on the side of the bus came out until I was completely passed the bus was 1.5 seconds," the driver said.
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Jones showed the video of the driver passing the stop sign to the Director of Transportation for Clayton County Schools Harold Walker.
Walker said before the stop sign came out, the driver should have seen yellow warning lights. They come on 100 to 150 feet before the bus stops, he said.
Walking Jones through the video, Walker pointed to red lights flashing and a stop arm coming out. Walker said that's when the camera is activated.
The driver said he never saw yellow warning lights.
"I don't remember any kind of anything proceeding the stop sign coming out," the driver said.
Walker said this is about the safety of the nearly 128,000 students bus drivers transport every day.
In October 2017 Gloria Blevins hit 5-year-old Delainey Lulu Pedrick in Newnan after Blevins passed a school bus with its stop sign out. Blevins pleaded guilty and received 20 years to serve 12.
Walker said stories like that are why the district is urging drivers to pay attention and not pass school buses when the stop sign arm is out.
"We're trying to protect the students that load or unload on the school buses," he said.
He said if drivers slow down for the yellow warning lights, they should have time to stop for the stop sign.
The driver who received the ticket is not convinced.
"I just feel like something is not right about this whole system," the driver said.
The driver is still debating whether to pay that citation.
Clayton County schools did a survey last month, looking for the number of drivers who pass school buses while the stop sign is out.
"We had 505 motorists illegally passing the school bus stop arm in one day," Walker said of the study's findings.
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