Halifax Co., VA - Your child's safety on the bus is really on the minds of officials with Halifax County Schools.
When complaints started coming in about bus drivers going too fast on county roads, the school system sprang into action.
Monday was the first day of school in Halifax County, but parents say they have no fear.
Transportation Coordinator Earl Womack is in the area, and he's watching to make sure safety comes first.
Womack has taken to the streets to stop bus drivers and county vehicle operators from speeding. Though, he says, he won't be writing tickets any time soon.
"I don't have those powers, but what I'll do is I'll just sit on the side of the road - sit in the car - and when our county vehicles approach, I'll go ahead and use it on the cars or buses," Womack said.
Womack's talking about a radar gun donated by the Halifax Police Department. The device will tell him if a bus is traveling too fast and document the incident if necessary.
"It's better to be a little bit late to the next stop than to be going fast," said Kevin Lands, Chief of the Halifax Police Department.
The school system and Halifax Police began working together after an incident that led to a traffic stop.
"We had several complaints and we actually had one of my officers pull over a bus that was speeding," Chief Lands continued.
Since Womack began using the radar gun and cracking down on speeders last semester, Police Chief Kevin Lands says there have been no more complaints.
With 5,000 students in the Halifax County School system, and most being transported on school buses, Womack said nipping the issue in the bud is a top priority.
"We just want to take a proactive approach. We don't want to be on the news as far as buses having accidents. We just want to make sure that we're doing the right thing to ensure the safety of students," Womack said.
Womack says another safety measure they have in place is a sensor that detects when a driver fails to stop for a school bus with its stop sign extended.
Photos taken by that sensor are then sent to the Halifax County Sheriff's Office.
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