Concern for safety in school zones and around school buses was discussed recently by the Cleveland Board of Aldermen.
Some of the aldermen brought up the issue but saying they had seen several people driving too quickly through school zones and even passing school buses.
"We have pulled over a few people and issued tickets for passing a school bus. I've had a few say the amber lights weren't one or the arm wasn't out," said Cleveland Police Chief Buster Bingham.
School bus safety is not only a top priority in Cleveland but also a priority in Mississippi.
The Mississippi Legislature passed Nathan's Law as a proactive strategy to protect children.
Nathan's Law requires motorists to stop at least 10 feet from a school bus when the bus is loading or unloading children. Motorists must not proceed until all children have crossed the street to or from the school bus, the flashing red lights are no longer activated, and the stop sign on the side of the bus is retracted.
The law authorizes a charge of felony assault and a prison sentence of up to 20 years for motorists convicted of illegally passing a school bus that, in the process, results in injury or death.
The law also authorizes cameras be equipped on school bus stop arms to film perpetrators in the act.
It required the development of at least 10 questions relating to school bus safety on a driver's license test.
A school bus safety task force was established and the law prohibits school bus drivers from using cell phones, wireless communication devices, vehicle navigation systems or "personal digital assistants" while operating the bus, except in an emergency.
It also increased the fine for passing a stopped school bus.
The area of concern to the board was near Cypress Park Elementary School.
"We're going to be cracking down on that area," said Alderman Robert Sanders.