Legislatures, schools looking at options to improve bus stop safety

Some people want it illegal for students to cross the road at the bus stops.

Posted: Nov 9, 2018 8:16 PM
Updated: Nov 10, 2018 8:42 AM

NEW HAVEN, Ind. (WFFT) - Schools and state lawmakers are working to come up with solutions to help protect kids at bus stops across the state.

Some people want it illegal for students to cross the road at the bus stops.

However, transportation directors say that is nearly impossible.

"Kids would be on the buses a lot longer," said David Myers, East Allen County Schools transportation director.

EACS is one of the most rural school districts in our area.

Myers said of the 3200 stops in the district, 600 of those are required to be door side.

"That doesn't mean we only have 600, but we have 600 we mandated by safety that can only be a right hand stop," said Myers.

Most of those stops are on busy state roads where cars are illegally passing school bus stop arms.

State senator Liz Brown said she doesn't think changing the law to accommodate hundreds of thousands of drivers who don't stop will work.

"I think it something we need to be thoughtful about. Every school district has different limitations and issues. If you are in an urban you might have developments that are very safe for children to walk across the street," said Brown.

One possible solution could be extended stop arms, an attachment that extends six feet from the side of the bus creating a physical barrier for people trying to pass the bus.

Right now, they aren't legal in Indiana, but some schools in Ohio are now testing them.

Brown isn't sure that will help.

"Maybe they are just texting and no big arm is going to help," said Brown.

Myers is already looking at that option, hoping the state school bus committee will approve the new stop arms.

"Put it out there where we have a higher volume of stop arm violations and see if it does have an impact," he said.

The maximum penalty for not stopping at a school buses is a $10,000 fine.

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