Keep children safe: STOP!

Staff Writer

BY JANNAYA ANDREWS
Decatur Daily Democrat

    In Indiana late July and early August brings hot weather, the State Fair and the start of a new school year. With Adams County schools set to start classes Monday, the Indiana State Police wants to remind drivers of the importance — and laws — of stopping for buses in the process of loading and unloading students.
    Every school year the ISP receives numerous complaints rgarding school bus stop-arm violations from corporations throughout the state. Each year the Indiana Department of Education gathers information from school corporations for stop-arm violations on a set day. Those numbers are then reported to the National Association of State Directors for Pupil Transportation Services.
    There are currently more than 16,000 school buses on the road in Indiana, and according to statistics, as the number of school buses increase, so does the number of school bus stop-arm violations.
    When approaching a school bus — from any direction — that is stopped with its flashing red lights activated and stop-arm extended, motorists are required to stop, even on multiple lane highways.
    Motorists driving on a highway 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 in all directions must stop.
    When approaching a school bus, drivers should be prepared to stop and be aware of stopped traffic. Disregarding a school bus stop-arm is a serious violation and one that school bus drivers are quick to report, according to the ISP. Violation of this law is a Class “A” infraction and is punishable by a maximum fine of up to $10,000.
    To learn more about national stop-arm violation statistics visit the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services website at http://www.nasdpts.org/StopArm/index.html.
    To contact the Indiana State Police Commercial Motor Vehicle Enforcement Division with questions about stop-arm violations visit https://secure.in.gov/ISP/BusInspections/Public/Index.
 

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