NEW HAVEN, Ind. (WANE) – Speeding and not stopping at a school bus stop arm is not only illegal – it can be deadly.
As children return to school, local school districts are reminding drivers to remain cautious to avoid putting students’ lives in danger.
East Allen County Schools transport around nine thousand students to and from school. On a weekly basis, drivers in the district say they file around 1200 stop arm violations.
“A vehicle on state road would honk and wave at us as he ran through our stop arm, it’s not a game,” said EACS Director of Transportation Dave Myers.
Charles Ward is a bus driver for EACS, and he says his top concern is the safety of his students. In his five years as a driver, he says the most alarming thing he notices on the road is people running stop arms.
“I would see one to three violations per day,” Ward said. “That’s one to three too many as far as I am concerned.”
Ward says he believes the majority of the stop arm violations are due to distracted driving.
“I don’t ever want to pick the phone up and have to be the one who makes a phone call because of one our students in our district was apart of a stop arm violation where somebody got injured,” said Ward. “Slow, stop, stay. You see a school bus, slow down. The red lights are on, stop. Stay stopped until that bus starts moving again. That is the easiest way to guarantee the safety of the students coming to and from that bus.”
EACS is adding 10 news buses. They will feature stop arm cameras, 360-degree cameras and front cams.