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Schools looking for money to pay for new bus mandates

School buses across Indiana currently have more than 100 feet of reflective tape.

Posted: Jun 6, 2019 9:53 PM
Updated: Jun 7, 2019 8:33 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - The law that increased the penalties for people running school bus stop arms. It also requires schools to put black reflective tape on every bumper of every bus.

"The addition of the black tape I guess is just above and beyond what we currently have," said Steve Lake, Southwest Allen County Schools transportation director.

School buses across Indiana currently have more than 100 feet of reflective tape.

State lawmakers are requiring more after four children in Rochester were hit by a car while getting on a bus, three of the children died. The driver reportedly told police she didn't see the bus.

"I do think our buses are very visible. I'm not so sure using the tax payer money in that place would be would be better used," said Lake.

Lake said it will cost SACS between $16,000 and $20,000 to put the reflective tape on its 77 buses.

Fort Wayne Community Schools is looking at $30,000 to $40,000 for its 301 buses.

Lake said there are already plenty of other safety features on buses to make them visible; such as yellow reflective tape, flashing headlights and the flashing stop arm.

He said that money could be used for other safety improvements.

"We can use more money for stop arm cameras and things like that. We are all for safety. Everybody is for safety," Lake said.

Many schools are holding off on putting the black reflective tape on their buses because state inspectors still need to define the specifications.

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