FULTON COUNTY, Ind. -- After a 24-year-old woman crashed into three children after not stopping at flashing red lights and a stop sign in rural Fulton County, Indiana, police are reminding drivers of the laws for stopping at school buses.
Drivers blowing through the stop arms and flashing red lights on school buses has been an issue for many years, but the number of stop arm violations each year is getting worse.
According to data from the Indiana Department of Education, during an annual one-day survey of school bus incidents in April, there were more than 3,000 illegal passing incidents reported.
More than 80 percent of violations were vehicles passing from the front, as police say happened in Fulton County.
Police say it is more important than ever to make sure kids are being watched on their way to the bus.
"Whether you're on a busy street or not so busy street or in a suburb, you have to watch out for the cars, not just the school bus, but other vehicles around the area," Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department spokesperson Officer Genae Cook said. "They might not see the school bus has stopped, they might not be paying attention, they might be looking at something else. Make sure the parent waits with the children and does not allow them to cross until all traffic has stopped."
Last school year, the state started collecting statistics from the entire school year. Out of the 1.3 million buses that participated in the study, there were more than 550,000 stop arm violations.
The number of incidents made a massive jump between 2012 and 2013. In 2012, there were 196,000 incidents reported by school bus drivers. In 2013, that number jumped to more than 485,000.
The IDOE called the results of the study "alarming." Click here to see the full data.
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