In wake of children’s deaths, police stress stop-arm law

Local News

After two six-year-old boys and a nine-year-old girl were killed boarding their school bus in Rochester, Indiana, state police reminded drivers of the dangers of passing a stopped bus.

“It’s heartbreaking,” Sgt. Ron Galaviz of the Indiana State Police – Fort Wayne post said. I can’t even imagine the grief that this family is going to have to go through.”

As the investigation played out, there wasn’t immediate information about what led to the crash, but helicopter footage showed a two-lane road with a double yellow line in the middle and a pickup truck with damage past the bus.

Any driver that passes a stopped bus with a stop arm out in Indiana, no matter the lane or direction, faces a Class A infraction, with a possible fine of $10,000 dollars. The only exception being a road with a constructed median.

The trooper told WANE 15 News, a price tag can’t be put on lives.

“We stress… we’re asking you… adhere to this law, but adhere to all the laws that are out there,” Galaviz added.  “We’re not out there simply just to write tickets and to cause delay. We’re out there to gain voluntary compliance so things like this don’t happen to families.”

According to an annual study by National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services, more than 3,000 drivers were caught passing stopped school busses in one day. The study asked about 7,500 bus drivers to document the law being broken on an unspecific day in March. 

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