FORT WAYNE, Ind. (ADAMS) – Fort Wayne Police are telling drivers that school bus stop arms are not optional. The city is looking to crack down on people who pass stopped school buses.
According to the Journal Gazette, Lieutenant Tony Maze says Fort Wayne Police will be patrolling before and after school for most of the month. They set up on Monday at the entrance to Canterbury Green, at Canterbury Boulevard and St. Joe Road.
Maze says passing a stopped school bus is extremely dangerous, and officers want to stop drivers before there is a tragedy.
Indiana State Police say that every school year they receive numerous complaints about school bus stop arm violations from school corporations around the state. The Indiana Department of Education surveys school corporations annually for stop arm violations on one given day and reports those numbers to the National Association of State Directors for Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS).
There are just over 16,000 school buses on the road in Indiana, and according to the yearly statistics, as the number of school buses on the road has increased, so has the number of school bus stop arm violations.
The Indiana State Police would like to remind motorists of the Indiana law concerning school buses, flashing lights and stop arms. Remember, when approaching a school bus, from any direction, which is stopped with its flashing red lights activated and its stop arm extended, motorists must STOP, even on multiple lane undivided highways.
Motorists who are on a highway that is divided by a barrier or unimproved median (i.e. a concrete or cable barrier or a grass median) are required to stop only if they are traveling the same direction as the school bus. If there is no unimproved median or barrier, then all lanes of a highway, in all directions must stop for a school bus stop arm.
When approaching a school bus always be prepared to stop and watch for stopped traffic.
Disregarding a school bus stop arm is a serious moving violation and one that school bus drivers are quick to report. Violation of this law is a Class “A” infraction and is punishable by a maximum fine of up to $10,000.
The Indiana State Police is committed to the safety of our children, motorists, and highways, and will continue our enforcement and education efforts to ensure that safety. To learn more about national stop arm violation statistics you may access the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services HERE