Thanks to the installation of cameras on the sides of school buses in Buncombe County, the rate of convictions for school bus passing violators has gone up from 25 to 50 percent. According to WLOS ABC News Channel 13, prior to the cameras, school bus drivers had to write down license plates, if they were able to. Even when passers were tracked down, conviction rates were incredibly low. Now that they have photographic evidence, violators are going to be held accountable for endangering the lives of children.
Recent research from the National Safety Council suggests that roadways in North Carolina have become more deadly and dangerous over the past six months. According to WLOS ABC News Channel 13, the number of people killed in traffic crashes in North Carolina has spiked 19 percent, while the national average has only gone up 14 percent. They also report that fatal wrecks have increased in Western North Carolina, and across the state. Ken Ulmer with the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) reports that more people on the roads combined with gas prices could have contributed to the increase.
Last year, the North Carolina Department of Transportation (DOT) named Asheville the most dangerous city for pedestrians. According to WLOS ABC News Channel 13, as part of the "Watch for Me" safety campaign, officers with the Asheville Police Department are getting ready to launch an initiative to crack down on pedestrian violations across the city. Starting in September, they'll be ticketing jaywalkers.
Some law enforcement officers have resorted to creative methods to catch distracted drivers. According to WLOS ABC News Channel 13, police officers in Marietta, Georgia are now dressing as construction workers at busy intersections to catch drivers who are texting and tweeting behind the wheel. The construction crew outfits gave police officers the ability to move through the intersections and glance into cars and trucks. It hasn't been easy for law enforcement officers to enforce texting-while-driving bans in the past, because it is so difficult to see what's actually going on in the driver's seat. This unconventional method allowed officers to see what was going on inside of vehicles.