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Law enforcement agencies increasing patrols in school zones across Indiana

More than 200 police agencies in the state will participate in the spring enforcement campaign.

INDIANAPOLIS — State and local police departments across Indiana will increase patrols in school zones over the next few months.

The overtime patrols are part of Indiana's Stop Arm Violation Enforcement (SAVE) program and funded with grants from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) administered by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI).

More than 200 police agencies in the state will participate in the spring enforcement campaign, with officers positioned along bus routes and school zones monitoring for speeding, stop-arm violations and other forms of reckless driving.

"School bus safety is a shared responsibility," Governor Eric Holcomb said in a statement. "By following the law and taking some simple, yet necessary, precautions like slowing down and driving distraction-free, we can help ensure that every student reaches their destination safely."

RELATED: 7-year-old boy hit by 2 vehicles, dies on Indy's east side

Officers will use high-visibility patrols as well as police spotters on buses as part of the efforts. Officials are calling on drivers to slow down, pay attention to the road and never pass a bus that has its red lights flashing and stop arm extended. The only exception is traffic traveling in the opposite direction on a divided road.

"You'll never regret playing it safe, but you will regret driving past a stopped bus and injuring someone's child," ICJI Traffic Safety Director Robert Duckworth said in a statement. "These are people who have their whole lives ahead of them. No hurry is worth the possibility of robbing someone of their future or a family of their child."

RELATED: 12-year-old killed, 15-year-old seriously injured in northern Indiana hit-and-run

Disregarding a school bus stop arm is a Class A infraction, punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and the suspension of a driver's license from up to 90 days for a first offense.

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