1.7k citations issued with increased school bus safety patrols

Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS (WANE) – Governor Eric Holcomb has announced the results of the increased school bus safety patrols that were conducted last fall by Indiana law enforcement agencies.

The patrols are part of the state’s Stop Arm Violation Enforcement (SAVE) program developed by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI) in 2019. This program is funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Officers worked with schools and bus drivers to identify areas where the highest number of violations occur. The bus stops and routes that were identified had police officers stationed who are looking for stop-arm violations and motorists driving dangerously.

During the two-month mobilization, 2,481 additional patrols were conducted along bus stops and routes. In total, officers issued 553 warnings and 1,701 citations, the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute said. Of those, 201 were for stop-arm violations.

In addition to stop arm violations, officers report citing 852 drivers for speeding, 112 for driving with a suspended license and 94 for not wearing a seat belt.

“Making sure that students can go to and from school safely is a top priority, but it requires cooperation from the motoring public,” Gov. Holcomb said. “Every driver has a responsibility to pay attention to the road and drive cautiously around buses, in school zones and areas where children may be present.”

“Driving past a stopped school bus is not only illegal, it’s a matter of life or death,” said Devon McDonald, ICJI Executive Director. “Motorists need to slow down, put away the distractions and watch for buses at all times. Lives depend on it.”

It is against the law for motorists to pass a bus that is stopped and has its read lights flashing and a stop-arm extended in Indiana. This law applies to all road with the exception of multi-lane roads divided by a physical barrier or unpaved median. In this instance, vehicles traveling in the opposite direction of the bus may proceed with caution.

SAVE patrols are scheduled to resume this spring for schools that are meeting in-person. Patrols were put on hold last March due to the pandemic.

ICJI is currently accepting applications for the next round of SAVE grant funding from Indiana law enforcement agencies. Applications are due by noon on Feb. 26.

Click here to learn more about the SAVE program.

For a list of school bus stop safety tips, click here or visit www.nhtsa.gov.

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