Concerns grow over drivers ignoring school bus safety

Concerns grow over drivers ignoring school bus safety

WAIANAE, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - There's a growing call to crack down on drivers who illegally pass stopped school buses.

External cameras ready to record offenders are mounted on school buses across the country.

But they haven't made their way to Hawaii yet. some believe they should

"Yeah I think so. So they know who the driver is," said Nanakuli resident Kristine Pangorang.

Pangorang says kids are at risk each day, especially on the west side, from impatient drivers illegally passing stopped school buses.

"They don't have patience, they know they're supposed to stop, but they just go," Pangorang said.

State Rep. Andria Tupola, whose district includes Waianae, said school bus stops is a "popular conversation" on the Leeward Coast.

She said student safety is significant concern.

Schools on the mainland have released frightening video of drivers ignoring red stop lights on school buses and hitting children in hopes that the dramatic images will get drivers in line.

"We haven't had a fatality of someone passing a school bus and hitting a child, but we don't want to get to that point either," Tupola said. "I think people are concerned and the cameras would be one way to make sure people realize this is serious, not just a suggestion."

Hawaii school buses already have cameras inside, some facing at the students, others on the dashboard facing out. But there are no externally-mounted cameras for the purpose of documenting law-breaking drivers.

The state Department of Education "is evaluating whether such cameras should be included in future contract agreements," the DOE said in a statement. "Such a requirement would need budgetary support from the state Legislature to cover costs, along with established working agreements between HIDOE, the Judiciary, county prosecutors' offices and county police departments, all prior to implementation."

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