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Increased focus on school bus safety patrols net more than 1,700 citations

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Posted at 8:07 PM, Feb 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-18 20:07:39-05

INDIANAPOLIS — A two-month effort to increase school bus safety patrols by law enforcement officers across Indiana resulted in more than 1,700 citations and 1,500 warnings, the state announced Thursday.

Of the 1,701 citations, 201 were for school bus stop-arm violations, according to the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute.

The campaign was funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration through the state's Stop Arm Violation Enforcement program. The initiative was spearheaded by the ICJI in 2019 to provide safe transportation routes for Hoosier students.

"Making sure that students can go to and from school safely is a top priority, but it requires cooperation from the motoring public," Gov. Eric Holcomb said. "Every driver has a responsibility to pay attention to the road and drive cautiously around buses, in school zones and areas where children may be present."

The two-month effort resulted in 2,481 additional patrols along bus stops and routes, which were identified by coordinating with local bus drivers and school transportation officials.

During the campaign, officers cited 852 drivers for speeding, 112 for driving with a suspended license, and 94 for not wearing a seat belt.

"Driving past a stopped school bus is not only illegal, it's a matter of life or death," Devon McDonald, executive director of the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, said. "Motorists need to slow down, put away the distractions and watch for buses at all times. Lives depend on it."