Drivers blocking road at bus stops potentially put more kids in danger

The Indiana State Police said this practice is breaking law and potentially putting more students in danger.

Posted: Nov. 14, 2018 10:57 PM
Updated: Nov. 14, 2018 11:12 PM

KENDALLVILLE, Ind. (WFFT) - Many school bus drivers across the country are tired of people not stopping for their stop arms and are taking matters into their own hands by angling the bus across the road as they pick up and drop off students.

However, the Indiana State Police said this practice is breaking law and potentially putting more students in danger.

"If someone's not paying attention, I don't think a bus in the middle of the road is going to stop them," said Issac Owens. "It's a nice thought, but the fact they are crossing the center line makes it a problem for other drivers."

"And there's no provision in state law that allows for a school bus to go left of center for any reason," said Sgt. Ron Galaviz, Indiana State Police Post 22 spokesman.

Galaviz said these stops are illegal because they aren't safe.

When bus drivers move their bus across the road, they are actually unloading kids in the middle of the street.

"Do we really want our kids to get on the bus in the middle of the road? I think not," said Galaviz.

Several photos showing buses across the road are going viral after three kids near Rochester were killed October 30 as they crossed the road getting on the bus.

"You're taking those lights and putting them at a different angle that people are not used to seeing them at," said Galaviz.

People running stop arms has been a growing issue over the years.

On April 24, more than 3,000 people didn't stop for Indiana school buses.

Galaviz said the only way to keep kids safe is for everyone to stop.

"If people don't know when to stop, call your local law enforcement agency," he said.

State Senator Eric Bassler is hoping those who don't stop will face tougher penalties.

"When you are violation a stop arm that is extended on a school bus, my goodness to me that is a very serious offence. That is more serious than driving 65 in a 55 mph zone," he said.

The maximum penalty for not stopping for a school bus in Indiana is $10,000, however most people in northeast Indiana are only fined around $200.

More than 10,000 people signed a people across the country have signed a petition on whitehouse.gov calling for tougher penalties nationwide.

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