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Law enforcement cracking down on school bus stop-arm violators

Violators could pay a fine of up to $10,000, have their license suspended for up to 90 days for the first offense or up to a year for the second.
Credit: WTHR

INDIANAPOLIS — State and local law enforcement agencies will be cracking down on school bus stop-arm violators. More than 200 agencies will be taking part in the back-to-school Stop Arm Violation Enforcement campaign – or SAVE.

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.

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. Violators could pay a fine of up to $10,000 or have their license suspended for up to 90 days for the first offense or up to a year for the second.

“Drivers who illegally pass a stopped school bus or speed in a school zone need to be held accountable,” said Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb. “We owe it to our kids to make sure they get home safely. Every driver needs to do their part by paying attention, slowing down and protecting school children and buses.”

In April, thousands of bus drivers who participated in a one-day observational survey counted 2,041 stop-arm violations in Indiana.

Officers will use a range of enforcement strategies from high-visibility patrols to police spotters on buses.

The overtime patrols are funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration through grants administered by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute.

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