Knox Co. mother says drivers are putting her child’s life at risk

Local News
School bus stop sign_375759

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – WATE continues to follow up on concerns of drivers not stopping and driving around school buses as they pick up or drop off students at bus stops.

Knox County School leaders say that since mid-October, there have been more than 52 reports of drivers passing buses. The school system recently teamed up with the Tennessee Highway Patrol for a series of public service announcements hoping to spread the message about the importance of following the law and keeping our students safe.

Ellie Whitesell, a Knox County mother, sent us videos of cars driving around her child’s school bus as it’s stopping to drop of her son at the bus stop.

“I’ve just about had it, enough is enough,” said Whitesell.Read More: Proposed bill would allow districts to install cameras on buses

Whitesell said she’s been dealing with this problem for three years now and says it’s getting worse.

“In an instant, in two seconds your child can be killed trying to come home off the school bus,” said Whitesell.

Whitesell said the school system and the school bus driver have been supportive of her complaints. She also said Knox County Sheriff’s Department has set up patrols at the bus stop to help deter drivers from passing the bus, but it is still happening.

“The school bus drivers are doing everything they can do, it’s everybody else on the road that’s the problem,” said Whitesell.

Knox County Sheriff’s Department told WATE they are continuing to patrol school zones and following up on these problem areas where reports are made.

“I don’t think it’s a problem of people maliciously doing this it’s people who are distracted,” said Chief Lee Tramel with Knox County Sheriff’s Office. “If you do this and you’re caught there’s a heavy fine and there’s no forgiveness for this.”

Meanwhile, Whitesell tells WATE she will continue to record videos and report them to police and the school system until drivers on the road start taking her child’s life seriously.

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