Local agencies cracking down on school bus stop violations

Law enforcement officers around the state will be looking out for drivers who ignore school bus stop arms, speed in school zones and otherwise drive recklessly around school children.

More than 200 agencies around the state are taking part in the Stop Arm Violation Enforcement blitz over the next few weeks, including deputies from the Bartholomew, Shelby and Decatur county sheriff’s departments.

Officers will be conducting high-visibility patrols in the morning and afternoon along routes identified in cooperation with local bus drivers and school transportation officials.

The overtime patrols are being paid for through National Highway Traffic Safety Administration grants administered by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute.

Whenever you see a school bus, you should be prepared to slow down and watch for children. If the stop arm extends and the lights flash red, you are required to stop. That is in all circumstances, unless it is a highway divided by a physical barrier. In that case, only vehicles traveling in the same direction as the school bus are required to stop.

Last year, more than 2,700 drivers were cited for stop-arm violations by Indiana law enforcement, according to the institute. Violating the law could cost you a fine of up to $10,000, have your license suspended for up to 90 days for the first offense or up to 1 year for the second.