Jay Schools Corporation adding stop arm cameras to buses

The Jay Schools Corporation will be able to add stop arm cameras to some of their school buses thanks to the Jay County Prosecutor's office.

Posted: Jan 29, 2020 4:57 PM
Updated: Jan 29, 2020 11:12 PM

PORTLAND, Ind. (WFFT) -- "If it was a second sooner, it could have been a different interview today."

Jay Schools Corporation Transportation Director Melissa Stephen is describing an incident that happened on Tuesday where students had a close call with a driver not stopping for the school bus.

Jay Schools Stop Arm Camera

Stephen says the problem is all too common, happening two times a week in her district.

Those guilty rarely face punishment because of a lack of stop-arm cameras.

"The last two years we've only been able to prosecute eight stop-arm violators," Stephen said. "We feel like with more cameras we are able to provide the Prosecutor's office with more evidence so we can prosecute the stop arm violators."

Now that's set to change. Thanks to money available to Jay County Prosecutor Wes Schemenaur through the county's pretrial diversion program, the school district will have new stop-arm cameras on their buses.

"Typically in the past, these funds have been used and given to law enforcement, local law enforcement agencies like the police department, the sheriff's department, the state police department to purchase equipment like radar guns and cameras and the like."

The $5,000 won't pay for cameras on all 40 plus buses, but it was an easy decision for Schemenaur.

"I have two kids here in the school corporation, they ride the bus every day and obviously after the tragedy we've had here in the area involving accidents with people going around the stop arm, I was happy to help out and try to keep the kids safe," Schemenaur said.

Which is the goal of the district says Stephen, not just catching those who are guilty.

"Our goal is not to issue the citations, our goal is to educate the public and increase the awareness of our buses," Stephen said.

For clarification of the law in Indiana, click here.

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