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More than 2,000 Indiana Drivers Pass School Bus 'Stop' Arms, Lights

EVSC_bus lot_1.jpg
Tim Jagielo
Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation buses transport 10,000 students every day.

April 26 statewide study reveals school bus warning lights not getting to everyone

Every year the Department of Education picks a day to ask school bus drivers statewide to count how many stop-arm violations they get.

This means the bus is parked to either admit or release students. The arm is out and the red ‘STOP’ lights are flashing.

There were 2,041 this time. Consequences to the driver includes jailtime and losing their license.

Indiana State Police Sgt. Todd Ringle said there are three types of drivers that violate school bus stop arms.

“You have the driver that is distracted; they're on their phone, maybe they're talking to other passengers, and they just don't notice that big yellow school bus stopping. Then you have drivers that are confused about when they're required to stop, especially on multiple lane highways," he said. "And then you have the driver who just doesn't care; they're in a hurry, and they're willing to take that risk.”

Ringle said if there is no barrier in the median of a six lane highway, drivers heading the other direction still need to stop. The good news, is that this number is lower than in previous years.

The Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation (EVSC) experienced 97 stop-arm violations. EVSC spokesperson Jason Woebkenberg said their bus routes are designed to avoid students crossing the street.

“Every time we have an opportunity, we design the routes so that students don't have to cross the street because of course, that's where you put yourself in the most dangerous, dangerous situation in the event someone does violate that stop arm.”

He says 10,000 students ride district buses each day, but there have been no recent injuries from stop arm violators.

EVSC_bus lot_2.jpg
Tim Jagielo
Buses parked at the EVSC lot.