Town of Beloit police increasing patrol to look for drivers illegally passing school buses

Police in the Town of Beloit are increasing patrol to catch drivers illegally passing school buses.

Last year, they handed out 39 citations for drivers passing stopped school buses. With the addition of cameras on several Beloit Turner school buses, the district and the department are hopeful they can hold even more offenders responsible.

“This issue is on our radar,” said Brad Boll, director of business services for the Beloit Turner School District. “It’s become a priority for us. It’s become a priority for law enforcement.”

The decision to add cameras to select buses came after a number of incidents, including one where a driver hit a bus and left the scene last February.

In March 2019, police handed out seven citations after riding along with bus drivers. One month later, the cameras were installed.

“It’s our youngest kids that are on our buses, and those are the ones we’re trying to protect,” Boll said. “We’re trying to do everything we can to protect the safety of our students. If they’re not safe and comfortable, then learning is not really an option.”

Boll said if the cameras continue to work, the district could potentially add them to all buses. Ultimately, he said, it’s about student safety.

“The big yellow buses that you’re seeing on the road are carrying your kids, carrying your neighbors’ kids, carrying your community’s most valuable asset. When they’re slowing down, when their red lights are flashing, when the stop signs out and they’re stopped, you need to be stopped.”

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