Liberty Hill mother raises awareness after driver passes school bus illegally

The school year is winding down, but several drivers in Liberty Hill haven't learned an important lesson. 

School buses are being passed while picking up children, and now a Liberty Hill mother is catching offenders on camera. One was even a law enforcement officer.

The incident happened in Liberty Hill along Hwy 29 and was posted on social media Lynz Bennett.

"It's the safety of our children, and people need to be aware that there are laws in place to protect the kids," said Bennett.

With a cell phone attached to a dashboard mount, Bennett spends her days documenting images of vehicles traveling on Hwy 29. They pass her daughter’s Liberty Hill ISD bus stop.

As her kids were boarding earlier this week, she not only caught a truck hauling a trailer zooming by, but also a police patrol car. The officer didn’t make a traffic stop, he continued heading West on 29.

"That was surprising and was disappointing," said Bennett.

Officials with Liberty Hill ISD reviewed Bennett’s video, as well as images from the school bus recorded by on-board cameras. They were not able to identify the police department the cruiser was from, but LHISD Police Chief Chris Rybarski told FOX 7 he did talk about the incident to his patrol officers and issued a safety reminder.

"What I’ve reminded my guys is not to be distracted, and it does happen. I was guilty of it while working for another department of being distracted by the in-car devices, you have your in-car camera, and it’s easy to get distracted for something that is sent to you. I’ve stressed to my guys nothing is that important to where you need to read while you are driving, unless it’s an extreme emergency," said Chief Rybarski.

Bennett also met with the Chief and said she was satisfied with the actions he is taking.


"And I do not think it will happen again," said Bennett.

Passing a school bus could lead to more than just a traffic violation; children could be killed or seriously injured.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a 2-lane road or a 4-lane road, the rules are pretty simple. But when in doubt, don’t pass a bus when the lights are on. There is a passing exception to the rule. Drivers heading in the opposite direction of a school bus, on roads with unpaved medians or barriers can continue, but should slow down.

"The growth is only going to continue and the way we can protect ourselves and our students is that we are diligent while we are out operating vehicles on the roadways," said Chief Rybarski.

There’s no vacation from the rules, several school districts will be running buses for summer school. And Lynz Bennett says she will also continue watching for offenders.

"I post those videos for awareness, telling people you are supposed to stop, but I guess some people don’t get it or don’t understand," said Bennett.