CHARLOTTE, N.C. – An NBC Charlotte investigation discovered cameras designed to catch drivers who fail to yield to school bus' stop arm, aren't being used in several local districts. The cameras were installed in several buses in many districts over the past couple years.
At Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, six months after the cameras were installed, they still haven't been used to captured or convict a single violator. A spokesman said administrators hadn't been able to implement an inter-departmental process to prosecute drivers caught on camera.
"We do not have the conviction part in place and we are going to work with district attorney to get that in place," stated CMS spokesman Brian Hacker in an e-mail to NBC Charlotte.
Union, Cabarrus, and Gaston Counties also have the cameras but haven't been able to prosecute any offenders. A Gaston County spokesman echoed similar sentiments to CMS, and said the district was formulating a process to turn in the video tape.
One district that's streamlined the process is Rowan-Salisbury School system. It was part of a pilot program for the cameras several years ago. Multiple departments are involved. A bus driver gives the video clip to the school's transportation department, which turns it over to law enforcement, which finally gives it to the District Attorney's office for review.
"I think that's one reason why we've been so successful here in Rowan-Salisbury with this program, is because we've got total buy in from all the agencies," said Anthony Vann, Asst. Superintendent for Operations.
Since 2011, cameras mounted on buses in Rowan County have captured 84 drivers breaking the law by passing the stop arms, and 36 of them have been convicted.