Neshoba County authorities and the school district are cracking down on law breaking drivers they said are passing stopped school buses, loading and unloading students.
“The problem is that it is costing lives. Kids are being struck by vehicles. Obviously, Nathan’s Law kind of hits home. Back in
December of 2009, a kid was struck a motor vehicle while trying to load or unload a vehicle,” said Neshoba County Resource Officer Lindsey Kidd.
Nathan’s Law went into effect back in 2011, in honor of a Mississippi 5 year old, Nathan Key, who was killed when a vehicle illegally passed his school bus as he was unloading.
By law drivers are required to stop at least 10 feet behind a school bus loading and unloading students. Any driver who breaks this law is subject to fines and even jail time.
Kidd said drivers breaking Nathan’s Law is something he has seen way too much of across the state and in the county.
“I’ve seen drivers, motorists, and passing school busses on the side of the shoulder, on the side of the road and in other lanes, passing busses while the stop sign is out. We have cameras on the busses and we have some drivers that take pictures of the tags of drivers that are passing while they’re loading and unloading kids,” said Kidd.
Kidd said he has already stopped several drivers for passing school busses, this school year alone.
“I really want to push this right here, because it’s against the law first of all and it’s dangerous. We shouldn’t be passing school buses and we will do an investigation on those drivers that are passing school buses,” said Kidd.
Kidd said students are also taught to check their surroundings and look both ways before exiting the school bus.
Nathan’s Law also requires drivers must not proceed until all children have crossed the street to or from the school bus and the flashing red lights are no longer activated and the stop sign on the side of the bus is retracted.