Drivers stop for school buses on first day of school

FOX 55 rode a bus dropping off Carroll High School students to see if drivers were stopping for the bus.

Posted: Aug 14, 2019 10:04 PM
Updated: Aug 14, 2019 10:40 PM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - School buses are now on the road across Allen County.

Northwest Allen County was the last district to start the new year Wednesday.

FOX 55 rode a bus dropping off Carroll High School students to see if drivers were stopping for the bus.

Our cameras didn't catch anyone running the stop arm, which drivers say is typical the first day of school.

However, NACS bus driver Matt Beers said he doubts he can go an entire school year without stop arm violations.

"I would love to get through a year with no violations. But that's wishful thinking because there are so many people and they have problems that are so much bigger than a bus," he said.

During a statewide stop arm violation count on April 23, nearly 200 people illegally passed school buses in Allen County.

Six of those violations were in NACS and district leaders said they just happened to catch drivers being good.

This year the school districts are teaming up with police to remind people to "Slow, Stop and Stay" when school buses are around.

"You've got this enormous yellow bus. You've got these flashing lights. You have an arm that sticks out on the side of the bus that screams stop and people still ignore it," said Beers.

Part of the campaign is increased enforcement around bus stops.

Fort Wayne police said they issued a few tickets Tuesday, the first day back for Fort Wayne Community Schools and Southwest Allen County Schools.

Beers said he expects to see more people passing the bus once school's been in session for a few more weeks.

He doesn't know what else can be done to stop other drivers.

"You feel a sense of betrayal followed by rage. You take it personally and you're angry on behalf of your kids because they are really the one's at risk," Beers said.

Penalties for illegally passing a stopped school buses are harsher this school year, including up to a 90 day license suspension the first time someone runs a stop arm.

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