CHEATHAM COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — Before the sun comes, up Lt. Chris Gilmore is waiting.
“I’ve caught people in the 80’s and 90’s on this road in years past,” he said.
Gilmore works for the Cheatham County Sheriff’s Office and does his best to sit off Highway 41A in Pleasant View every morning, knowing it’s only a matter of time.
“It’s every day,” he said. “It’s everyday we have a bus driver that will call in and say someone has passed their stop arm.”
Gilmore said it happens all across Cheatham County, so Friday morning he was up following the school bus that travels down that highway.
School buses in the county were recently equipped with cameras that have since helped catch at least two drivers who illegally passed stopped school buses off Old Clarksville Pike.
“My biggest fear is that some child is going to get hit,” Linda Kuipers said.
Kuipers has only lived off Highway 41A for a couple of months, but worries about her children’s safety every morning when they wait for their bus.
“They are intent on going wherever they’re going, and so if they can scoot around the bus before he actually turns his light on, they do,” she said.
Her husband has even started wearing a reflective vest while waiting.
“You more than likely have children yourself,” she said. “You would want your children to get to school safely. That’s all we want.”
Gilmore said writing tickets for offenders is a challenge since officers aren’t always there when this crime happens, but with these new cameras and with more deputies out, Gilmore is hoping to catch more of these drivers and push people to slow down.
“Motorists have got to understand that these buses are out here,” he said. “What does it hurt to leave five minutes early, ten minutes early to make sure we’re keeping our kids safe?”
Illegally passing a stopped school bus is a Class A Misdemeanor with a fine of up to $1,000 in Tennessee.