The Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office is ramping up enforcement this spring to protect students going to and from school. Over the next couple of months, officers will be positioned along with bus stops and routes, watching for stop-arm violations and unsafe driving behavior.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration funds the overtime patrols through the state’s Stop Arm Violation Enforcement (SAVE) program, developed by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute in 2019.
“We take school zone safety, and the security of every child very seriously said Sheriff Wedding. “Disregarding a school bus stop arm and dangerous driving in school zones put precious lives at risk. We’re asking all motorists to drive cautiously near schools and around buses. In the coming months, our deputies will be patrolling all of our county school zones and watching for unsafe driving behavior.’
The Office joins more than 200 around the state for the spring enforcement campaign, which encourages motorists to stop for school buses. High-visibility patrols will be conducted in the morning and afternoon along routes identified by local bus drivers and school transportation officials.
While officers will be focusing on stop-arm violations, they will also be on the lookout for unsafe driving behavior such as speeding and distracted driving.
“We still have far too many people speeding and not paying attention to the road,” said Devon McDonald, ICJI Executive Director. “One glance at your phone is all it takes to cause a tragedy. Children are unpredictable, so it’s important to stay alert and be prepared to stop at all times.”
In Indiana, it’s against the law for motorists to pass a bus that’s stopped and has its red lights flashing and stop-arm extended. This applies to all roads, with one exception. Motorists on a highway divided by a barrier, such as a cable barrier, concrete wall, or grassy median, are required to stop only if they are traveling in the same direction as the school bus.