INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -
Indiana police agencies are planning additional patrols to crack down on
motorists who pass stopped school buses as Hoosier students begin fall
classes in a school year shaped by the coronavirus pandemic.
Criminal Justice Institute announced Monday that it’s providing federal
grant funds from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to more
than 200 local police agencies to safeguard students as they board and leave
contends that Hoosier school bus drivers witness more than 2,500 stop-arm
violations a day, or an estimated 450,000 over the course of a school year,
by motorists who fail to stop.
executive director, Devon McDonald, said motorists should “always err on the
side of caution when it comes to school bus safety.”
“The best way to
think about it is to drive like it’s your child boarding or riding that
bus,” McDonald said in a statement.
In Indiana, it’s
illegal for motorists to pass a bus that’s stopped with its red lights
flashing and stop-arm extended on all roads, except for vehicles traveling
in the opposite direction as the bus on multi-lane roads divided by a
physical barrier or unpaved median, The (Northwest Indiana) Times reported.
Gov. Eric Holcomb
said that motorists should pay attention on the road and drive cautiously
near buses. He said “school bus safety is everyone’s responsibility.”
last year boosted the penalties for stop-arm violations following an October
2018 crash in Fulton County that killed three children boarding a school
bus. Those changes include fines of up to $5,000 and a one-year driver’s
license suspension for repeat offenders.