by: Sarah Rosario Updated:
CHARLOTTE - Parents in the University City area tell Eyewitness News Drivers passing stopped school buses is becoming a problem. We brought the issue to police after parents complained to us.
Eyewitness News anchor Sarah Rosario was with officers ticketing people Wednesday morning and learned it happens more often than police realized.
A parent gave Channel 9 cell phone video of his child's bus stop on North Tryon in University City.
You see the bus' red lights flashing and stop arm out, but in the video we counted five cars speeding by the stopped bus.
It's something Joseph Mobley says he's watched happen for months.
He says he doesn't feel safe dropping his daughters off at the bus stop.
"They don't even attempt to stop," said Mobley.
Mobley says it happens twice a day, in the morning and the afternoon. He says he called the cops and they only came out once which is why he brought the issue to Eyewitness News.
Wednesday we watched as officers ticketed people.
Officers told us they were surprised to see how many cars were passing stopped school buses and said it's more of a problem that they realized.
Under current state law, if convicted, passing a stopped school bus will cost you five points on your license.
Officers out Wednesday morning said they saw four people at once illegally passing a bus. The problem is there weren't enough officers to pull over all of the drivers, so officers could only pull over one.
The area is patrolled by CMPD's University Division. We found officers near two different bus stops on North Tryon; one near Rocky River Road and the other near University City Blvd.
The University Division told us they never received any complaints before we told them about it. Now they plan to have to several officers in the area.
"People are in such a rush, they're flying down the street. I have a disabled child and I wouldn't want anything to happen to mine," said Michelle McCalister.
Passing a stopped school bus is a misdemeanor. It’s a felony if you hit and kill someone or cause serious injury.
Mobley says if he didn't reached out to Channel 9 it would have only been a matter of time.
"All it would take is a couple of seconds for someone to get killed," said Mobley.
Officers handed out several tickets this morning but couldn't' give us an exact number.
Drivers who pass a stopped school bus receive a minimum fine of $500. It used to be $200.
The new fine is part of tougher laws legislatures passed last year that went into effect in December.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools said they haven't received any complaints from bus drivers or parents.