INDIANAPOLIS — Police officers issued more than 450 stop-arm violations and 1,200 more for speeding during school bus safety patrols that began at the start of the 2019 school year, Gov. Eric Holcomb announced Thursday.
The overtime patrols were conducted by nearly 40 law enforcement agencies to create safer school bus stops around the state, a release said. The departments were awarded Stop Arm Violation Enforcement (SAVE) grants from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.
The effort resulted in 2,675 citations and 1,430 warnings over two months across the state.
“There’s no excuse for driving dangerously or distracted around a school bus, but there are consequences,” Holcomb said. “Parents shouldn’t have to worry about the safety of their child going to and from school, which is why we’ll continue to make improving bus stop safety a priority.”
The officers targeted speeding, aggressive driving, stop-arm and other traffic violations along bus stops and routes. Of the citations issued, 453 were for stop-arm violations, while 1,239 involved speeding.
Indiana Criminal Justice Institute executive director Devon McDonald said the program is a first for Indiana and surrounding states.
“A critical component of the SAVE program was the collaboration that took place between the schools, bus operators and local law enforcement,” McDonald said. “Together, they identified problem areas and routes, allowing them to coordinate their efforts, and focus their attention and resources strategically.”
McDonald also said drivers should be sure to slow down and pay attention to the road in school zones.
The campaign came a year after three children died and another was injured by a driver who crashed into them at a bus stop in October 2018 at a bus stop in Fulton County.
The driver, Alyssa Shepherd, was sentenced to four years in prison last month for her role in the crash.