FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The Fort Wayne Police Department has released results of a school bus stop arm violation campaign that started on August 13 and ran until September 13.
Between August 13 and September 13, the department had officers out in “hot spot” locations around the city, including on Jefferson Boulevard and St. Joe Road, during school bus pick up and drop off times. According to a post on the department’s Facebook page, 129 stop arm violators were ticketed and an additional 232 speed zone violations were enforced.
According to the department, many of these violations caught during the Stop Arm Violation Enforcement (SAVE) program can be chalked up to distracted driving.
“They see people all the time on their phones, putting makeup on, eating, changing the radio station,” said Sgt. Sofia Rosales-Scatena, a Public Information Officer for the department. “Whatever you’re doing in your car, you’re not paying attention to the road and what’s going on around you.”
The department says that the only thing that can do to help the situation is to continue to ticket violators, and push more education on the public.
“On our Facebook page we regularly post what to do at school bus stops, whether you’re on a divided highway, undivided highway, or two-lane road, those posts are available with the rules of the roads on them so we need to do a little bit better education and then we just need people to pay attention better.”
The department received $49,000 from the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute to address stop arm violations. Approximately three to four officers a day were assigned to the enforcement blitz during the school week. Although this enforcement program has ended, they hope to find funding to continue the crack down.