Seymour police looking for school bus stop arm offenders

Seymour police are stepping up efforts to crack down on those who drive dangerously around school buses.

According to the Seymour Police Department, officers are taking part in a national initiative to prevent stop-arm violations, speeding and other forms of reckless driving around school buses and in school zones.

According to Lt. Michael Cooper with the department, when you see a school bus flashing its lights and the stop arm is extended, you must come to a complete stop. He says that is not a suggestion, but the law.

A one-day study done last April in Indiana recorded more than 2,000 stop arm violations just in that day. That could mean more than 376 thousand incidents happening throughout the school year.

During the special enforcement period, police are working with local bus drivers and school transportation officials, focusing on the morning and afternoon hours. The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness about the importance of school bus safety.

Drivers who disregard a school bus stop arm could face a fine of up to $10,000, have their license suspended for up to 90 days for the first offense or up to 1 year for the second. If someone is injured or killed during a stop arm violation, it rises to the level of a felony.

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