CAUGHT ON CAMERA: Driver gets ticket after passing stopped school bus

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. (KKTV) - A dad captured a driver passing his kids’ school bus, and now that driver could face a fine.

Jason Bennett said the morning started out just like any other as he was waiting with his third-grader and fifth-grader to get on the school bus at their stop on Judge Orr Road. The speed limit on that stretch of road between Soap Weed and North Calhan Highway is 55 mph. As the kids were waiting to cross the road, a car drove past the school bus, even though its stop sign was out.

“I don’t know what else a driver needs to stop,” Bennett said. “You’ve got a big yellow bus, reflective school bus signs, flashing lights, and a stop sign in front of you. I don’t know what else you need to know to stop.”

The incident was all caught on Bennett’s dash camera.

“I called the sheriff’s department immediately on it,” he said.

Bennett told 11 News he followed the car after his kids were safely on the bus and got the license plate and a good look at the driver.

According to the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, if a citizen sees a school bus violation and can report the date and time of the incident, the car’s license plate, a good description of the driver, and is willing to sign a complaint and go to court, then deputies can give that driver a ticket.

In this case, that’s exactly what happened.

Now, the case moves on to court.

“They’ll go to court just like a deputy would in place of this, and they would be basically the prosecuting attorney of that traffic ticket,” said Sgt. Travis Kitowski, the sheriff’s office school resource officer supervisor.

After the incident happened, Bennett said he talked to his children about what to do when they get close to the road. He said their bus driver does a good job of watching the cars and making sure it’s safe for the kids to cross.

“She’s always looking up the road to make sure that traffic is stopped and then she gives them the signal that it’s OK for them to cross,” Bennett said.

The driver who drove past his kids’ school bus is scheduled to be in court on Oct. 31, according to Bennett. He said he plans to be there to show the judge the video he captured. It’ll be up to the judge to decide the driver’s punishment.

Bennett said he wants the video to be a lesson to other drivers.

“It takes a minute. Maybe a minute and a half to stop for a school bus,” Bennett said. “Not stopping and killing a child is something that will affect the family and you and everyone else for the rest of our lives.”