FWPD targeting school bus stop arm violators

An effort to curb drivers breaking the law and not stopping for school buses when they should is underway in Allen County.

Posted: Mar 4, 2019 2:51 PM
Updated: Aug 7, 2019 4:50 PM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - The safety of bus-riding students is put in jeopardy every day around the country.

In one day in 2018, the 4 major school districts in Allen County saw 252 stop arm violations, with the most being recorded in the state’s most populated district, Fort Wayne Community Schools.

Parents send their kids off to the bus stop hoping they stay safe, but every morning, you see people violating stop arm laws, putting your kids at risk.

Fort Wayne and Allen County police received a special grant which will allow them to do targeted enforcement at bus stops over the next three weeks, but Lieutenant Tony Maze says you won’t know when or where they’ll be watching.

"We’ve got officers who’ll be out some morning, some afternoons for the drop offs doing the enforcement on the school bus arm violators," Maze said.

RELATED: ALLEN COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICTS WORK TO IMPROVE STUDENT AND BUS SAFETY

This is in response to a number of complaints received by police and local schools. One of the stops FWPD is watching is outside of Canterbury Green Apartments, a stop Fort Wayne Community Schools spokesperson Krista Stockman says is a problem.

Stockman explained, "This stop outside of Canterbury Green is one of our most violated areas. We have a lot students who are picked up on buses here and we see a lot of stop arm violations."

Just this morning, FOX 55 News captured four stop arm violatiors in a span of 10 minutes and it’s hard to tell why people aren’t stopping.

Maze said, "We’ve got people who are impatient, might be running late to work. They don’t understand what the law is and they don’t know whether they should or shouldn’t need to stop."

Let's make that last part clearer.

If a school bus makes a stop in an area where there’s a physical barrier, like a raised median, traffic flowing with the school bus has to stop. However, flowing against the school bus does not. But, when a school bus makes a stop in an area where there is no physical barrier between traffic lanes, all traffic must stop.

The four major school districts are working on a longer term plan to help combat the issue of stop arm violators.

But Stockman says, the solution is fairly simple. She said, "People really need to pay attention to those big yellow buses and when their lights are flashing, stop."

If you don’t, you could be getting stopped by the flashing red and blue lights behind you.

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