INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — More than 200 Indiana police agencies will be boosting their patrols this fall to crack down on school bus stop-arm violations and dangerous driving near school bus stops and in school zones.
Gov. Eric Holcomb announced the extra patrols July 28 and urged motorists to keep watch for school buses in the weeks ahead.
“We’re entering back-to-school season in Indiana, which means motorists need to watch for buses and drive cautiously at all times,” Holcomb said in a statement.
Bus drivers and school transportation officials will help police identify areas where extra patrols are most needed under Indiana’s SAVE blitz, which stands for Stop Arm Violation Enforcement.
That program is supported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration through the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, The Journal Gazette reported.
In 2019, Indiana lawmakers approved tougher penalties for drivers who pass school buses with extended stop arms after three children were fatally struck while crossing a highway to board a bus.
A spring police enforcement period netted more than 5,600 citations, including 251 for stop-arm violations, 309 for texting while driving and almost 1,900 for speeding, the Criminal Justice Institute said in a news release said. About 1,700 warnings also were issued.
In Indiana, it’s illegal for drivers to pass a stopped school bus that has its red lights flashing and stop-arm extended. This applies to all roads except for motorists on a highway that is divided by a barrier, such as a concrete wall or grassy median.