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Hundreds ticketed for driving past stopped school buses

SPANAWAY, Wash. - There are more eyes watching drivers in the Bethel School District this year than last.

The district doubled the number of school buses armed with cameras, catching drivers who disobey the law to stop when a bus is picking up or dropping off students.

Whenever a school bus' red lights are flashing and the stop arm goes out, drivers must stop.

But a review of the video from five cameras on Bethel School District buses shows just how many drivers fail to stop. They just keep on driving.

Occasionally, the video shows that the driver seems to be slowing down, perhaps thinking of stopping, but then just keeps going, right past the sign extended from the bus that says stop.

The five bus cameras caught 149 drivers in Pierce County last spring, each one getting a $394 ticket.

In Washington state, all drivers must stop whenever red lights are flashing on a school bus. The only time drivers don't need to stop is if they're approaching a bus from the opposite direction and there are at least three marked lanes, a median or a physical barrier between the driver and the bus.

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