Drivers Disobeying School Buses Yield Safety Concerns For Children
Report: More Than 3,500 Drivers Blow Through School Bus Stop Arms Daily
Last Updated: 687 days ago
Drivers who blow past school bus stop arms are putting thousands of Indiana children at risk every day, according to a new report.The Indiana Department of Education studied 184 school districts and found that about 3,500 vehicles drove pass school bus stop arms while children were present in a single school day.School bus drivers were given a survey as part of a study by the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services, an agency looking to prevent student deaths, 6News' Kara Kenney reported.INDOE estimated that nearly 630,000 motorists will blow through school bus stop arms in a typical school year, and 10,600 of them are on the right side of the bus, where children are loading and unloading."They don't notice the big school bus in front of them," said Michael LaRocco, school transportation director for the Indiana Department of Education said. "How they can't see that, I'll never understand."The 6News Watchdogs exposed the issue in a special investigation in February 2010, but the study revealed the problem is much more prevalent.The study found that urban and growing suburban school districts reported the most incidents.Wayne Township Schools reported the most of any school district in central Indiana, with 264 vehicles passing its stopped school buses in one day.Hamilton Southeastern Schools, which is covered by Fishers police, reported 70 vehicles passed through their school bus stop arms.Fishers police officers said they plan to crack down on drivers once school begins in mid-August."Our traffic division will make it a very high priority, and we will have officers in high concentrated areas," Officer Tom Weger said.Police said a plan will include the use of marked and unmarked cars to crack down on drivers who fail to stop for school buses."When the red light comes out and the stop arm comes out, that means stop," LaRocco said.Drivers caught disobeying a stop arm could face a mandatory court appearance, a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail. Drivers who injure someone as a result of disobeying the stop arm could face up to a year in jail and up to a $5,000 fine.