Indiana saw over 3K drivers go around school bus stop arms in one day
Every single school day, kids get on and off the bus. We expect the bus drivers to transport them safely, but sometimes safety is out of the bus driver’s hands.
It's the other drivers that are causing problems.
This became even more apparent a couple of weeks ago. Indiana State Police asked every Indiana bus driver to log how many people drove around stop arms on a single day.
On April 24, bus drivers saw 3,077 violations. That averages out to about 33 in every county, every day!
A bus driver has a lot of responsibility and a lot of precious cargo.
In Plymouth Community Schools, the 28 bus drivers take more than 2,000 kids to school every day.
“Our drivers take their jobs very seriously when they get to the buses in the morning,” said Brenda Uceny, Transportation Director of Plymouth Community Schools.
Though, as we know, times are changing.
“Everyone seems to be in a hurry these days. People are going to work; they're trying to drop off their kids,” said Uceny.
That fast pace can sometimes cause distractions, like not paying attention to when those kids are getting on and off the bus.
“I've seen several people just running the stop arms,” said Brandon Berger, the assistant Transportation Director and a bus driver.
A stop arm violation is when you see a stop sign come out on the side of the bus, but despite the red flashing lights and the kids getting off of the bus, people still go around it.
Administrators at Plymouth Schools say it's a growing problem, and they've had some close calls. Watch the video above for surveillance footage taken from a bus just months ago. A little boy is getting off at his stop, and if you look closely, you can see the car on the righthand side ignore the bus and just narrowly miss hitting him.
"I would feel horrible if a child was injured because somebody decided not to head the warnings of the red lights when the school bus is stopped,” said Berger.
"Traffic needs to pay attention and just slow down and wait for those red lights and wait for the student to cross,” said Uceny.
At the least you can get a ticket around $300, and at the worst, well, there's no price for a life.
"The drivers are not intentionally driving slow to make you late for work. They are doing their job, looking for kids, and trying to make it as safe as possible,” said Uceny.
This is a problem throughout the state, and it's not just around school buses. People are not slowing down in school zones. With a few weeks of school left, schools are urging everyone to take notice.