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Union reacts to school bus runners caught on camera

Union reacts to school bus runners caught on camera

By Matt Grant. CREATED Jun 12, 2012 - UPDATED: Jun 12, 2012

FORT MYERS, Fla. - A school bus driver assigned to protect your kids put them at risk and it was caught on camera.

"It's not rocket science," said parent Brandon McHenry of North Fort Myers. "It's just the safety of our kids."

On Monday, we showed you cell phone video taken two weeks before school let out, showing a school bus illegally passing a stopped school bus picking up kids.

For more than seven months, McHenry has been using his cell phone to capture drivers illegally passing his 12-year-old daughter's school bus as it stops to pick her up in the morning.

The bus stop is located at Monica Lane and Pondella Road in North Fort Myers. Because Pondella Road does not have a five-foot divider all lanes of traffic have to stop when a school bus extends its stop-sign arm.

Before school let out, McHenry caught what appears to be a Lee County school bus apparently breaking the law by blowing past a stopped bus picking up kids.

"I'll be honest with you, the video doesn't lie," said transportation union president Bob Rushlow. "It's wrong. Absolutely it's wrong." 

And surprising.

Back in February, we interviewed two bus drivers who complained about other drivers not following the law.

"You get angry because people don't care," one bus driver told us.

"Honking does nothing," said another. "We usually get the Italian salute."

Because the cell phone video is blurry it's hard to tell the bus number. Rushlow says it could even be a charter school bus.

Regardless, he doesn't like what he sees.

"I will say it's uncharacteristic of one of our bus operators to do that," said Rushlow.

He points to rules his drivers have to sign. Going around a stopped school bus is a 10 point infraction, which is the highest level of severity.

If the driver was caught, they could receive a three day unpaid suspension, been forced to go through re-training at their expense or they could have been fired.

"They can actually get terminated in a case like this," said Rushlow.

"Will this issue be brought up to drivers before school starts?," asked Fox 4 reporter Matt Grant.

"Oh absolutely it will be," said Rushlow. "To be honest with you, I think it already has."

Drivers caught illegally passing a stopped school bus can be slapped with a $264 fine along with four points on their license.

Matt Grant
mgrant@fox4now.com