Williamson Co. Schools, law enforcement join forces to raise school bus safety awareness

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Law enforcement and schools in Williamson County are joining forces to address school bus safety concerns.

On Tuesday, Brentwood, Franklin, Fairview, Nolensville, and the Spring Hill Police Departments and the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office each released a video to help spread awareness on the issue.

A group of parents is pitching in this effort.

“I want to run out and chase them, be like, ‘What are you doing?’ said parent Nikki Andrews.

Every weekday morning and afternoon, Andrews said she watches from her window sill as drivers fail to stop, zooming past when her kid are trying to get on and off the school bus.

“It ticks me off,” said Andrews. “It continues to happen and it needs to stop.”

Andrews is among a group of around 10 parents serving as extra eyes and ears for Franklin Police.

It’s a crucial part of William County’s new school bus safety campaign that has the district and law enforcement working in tandem.

“Our number one issue is safety,” said Jeff Fuller, Williamson County Schools Transportation Director. “Safely getting our kids two and from school.”

Each department within the county released a safety video, reiterating the rules of the road when it comes to school buses, like coming to a complete stop when you see the STOP bar activated.

“In recent months, nationally, there have been a number of crashes at bus stops involving children that have resulted in fatalities,” said Officer Bryan Kirkpatrick of the Brentwood Police Department in the video.

Deputies and officers also are using unmarked vehicles to watch and ticket violators.

Williamson County School officials said most of the incidents happen during the rush hours when the stop arm is extended out.

Officer Kirkpatrick said there’s a common theme when he questions violators.

“They weren’t paying attention,” said Officer Kirkpatrick. “How you can miss a big yellow bus with a flashing stop sign is beyond me.”

Andrews said she hopes the collective effort will ultimately make drivers think twice.

“One little mistake of someone in a hurry can cost a life and I’m not willing to see that happen, especially on our roads with our children,” said Andrews.

Officials added bus stop violations can land you not only hundreds of dollars in fines, but will also cost drivers eight points on their driver’s license.

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