Police cracking down on bus stop-arm violators

Indianapolis

Indiana State Police launched an aggressive crackdown this week on drivers who fail to stop when a school bus stop-arm is flashing.

Officers followed buses at Clinton Prairie School Corporation Wednesday, looking for drivers that swerve around them when children are getting on or off the bus. The Director of Transportation for the district said her bus drivers complain about a driver almost every week.

“At the beginning of the year, I've heard them weekly," said Amanda Whitlock.

According to State Police, there were 2,100 violations reported during the 2011-2012 school year.

Sgt. Kim Riley said more often than not, people simply aren’t paying attention.

"There could be texting, talking on the phone, reading a newspaper, or believe it or not, people change clothes while they're driving, put on makeup. They brush their teeth, comb their hair,” said Riley. “I mean I've seen everything done in a car."

Officials at Clinton Prairie School Corporation are so fed up, they are investing in a camera that will be attached to the stop-arm of one school bus. It will aid bus drivers who witness a violator.

"That will record any license plates, time of day, and the speed that the driver who ran the stop-arm, so we can follow up with State Police and get them ticketed," explained Whitlock.

She said it’s a dangerous problem that needs more awareness and attention.

"I know we're all in a hurry, but it's so important, 'cause we do not want any accidents or you know Heaven forbid something would happen,” said Whitlock. “So take it very, very seriously."

Violators face fines of up to $1,000.

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