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No state laws regulate school bus stop locations

Posted: 7:43 AM, Nov 01, 2018
Updated: 2019-01-07 07:58:55-05

FULTON COUNTY, Ind. -- After the Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation said it would move the bus stop where a pickup truck hit four students, killing three this week, an Indiana lawmaker said the state can do better.

The crash happened State Road 25 in Fulton County shortly after 7 a.m., north of Rochester, Indiana. Police say the driver of the pickup truck told them she saw the lights but didn't realize it as a bus until the kids were in front of her.

Alivia Stahl, 9, and her twin brothers, Xzavier and Mason Ingle, 6, were all pronounced dead at the scene. A fourth child was also struck. He is in a Fort Wayne hospital in stable condition.

Why wasn't the bus stop in a safer spot?

Indiana state law doesn't regulate or inspect bus stops at all. The state relies on the bus stops to get children to and from school each day.

The Indiana Department of Education has "no guidance" on where bus stops should be placed in an area. 

In Fulton County, the four children struck were crossing State Road 25 to get on the bus. 

What Indiana can do?
State Rep. Ed Delaney (D-Indianapolis) said the state could monitor and oversee bus stop locations. 

"Somebody lost three kids in one event," Delaney said. "It doesn't happen often, but our job is to make sure it never happens, or at a minimum, that we've done everything we can by cameras or other devices, public education, monitoring the bus stops to reduce the chances of this. I mean this ruined how many lives?"

While police officers patrol across the state for bus stop violators, Delaney said it would be impossible to put an officer at every stop.

Delaney says he sponsored bi-partisan legislation years ago to install cameras on every school bus that would catch people blowing through the stop arms and ticket them -- but the bill died before it made it to the house floor. 

"I think we need to get this done and have cameras on there so we can have people getting reported when they do this so I hope that in addition to paying a fine, I would hope they would just be shamed and realize 'I don't ever want to do that again,'" Delaney said.

MORE COVERAGE Driver who killed 3 kids told police she didn't realize the lights were a school bus until too late  |  3 siblings hit, killed while crossing the street to get on the school bus in Fulton County  |  Uncle remembers 3 siblings killed at Fulton Co. bus stop: "beautiful kids taken for no reason"  |  Indiana school district moves bus stop after 3 siblings killed  |  Bus stop arm violations on the rise

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