Summer is winding down, and children are back to school. With that in mind, it’s important to watch for buses on the road and be aware of the new traffic laws to help keep students safe.
Though most drivers follow the law and obey stop arms, others are either unaware or disregard the law completely. In fact, Hoosier bus drivers report an average of more than 2,500 stop-arm violations each day. To hold these violators accountable and help prevent tragedies from happening, Indiana legislators passed a law increasing the penalties for individuals who fail to stop for a school bus with its stop arm extended and lights flashing.
Previously, an individual who injured or killed someone as a result of recklessly passing a school bus was charged with a Class A misdemeanor. Under this new law, the penalty has been raised to a Level 6 felony if the action results in injury and a Level 5 felony if the action results in death. This would potentially mean larger fines and longer jail sentences for violators. The measure also improves safety by ensuring school corporations review bus routes each year to avoid making students cross state highways when boarding or getting off the bus.
Our children are the future, and we must do all that we can to keep them safe. The Indiana State Police offers helpful school bus safety tips for motorists at www.in.gov/isp. I encourage you to review these tips as we begin to see more and more school buses on the roads. If you have any questions, please reach out by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 317-232-9600. For more information on new laws and other things happening in our state, you can sign up to receive my e-newsletter at www.in.gov/h17.
State Rep. Jack Jordan (R-Bremen) represents House District 17,
which includes all of Marshall County and a portion of Fulton County.
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