(WSBT photo)

(WSBT photo)

SOUTH BEND – Local police joined South Bend Community School Corporation Thursday morning to drive home the importance of stopping for school buses.

“Each year in the United States, there are five to eight children who are killed by motorists who don't stop,” said SBCSC Transportation Director Richard Hammond, who added last year, in just one day, the district saw 153 motorists who ignored the stop arm and flashing red light of a school bus.

“That extra thirty seconds to a minute and a half … is not going to make you any later than you already are,” said St. Joseph County Sheriff Mike Grzegorek. “The safety of those children is a lot more important than you  being late for work or late for an appointment.”

Police said ignoring a school bus that is stopped with flashing red lights and an extended stop arm can earn drivers eight points on their license and a $125 ticket.

Our Fact Finder team looked into what the law says about motorists and school buses. If a bus is stopped along a 2-lane street, drivers in each direction must stop until the red lights are off.

On multi-lane highways like U.S. 31, Grzegorek said drivers are also required to stop for a school bus no matter which direction they’re headed because there is no barrier to divide the lanes of travel.

On divided highways with a median/barrier, drivers headed the opposite direction do not have to stop. But according to Indiana law, those drivers still have a “duty to use caution.”