Police: Time for motorists to watch for school buses


Dubois County students head back to school Thursday and police are reminding everyone to watch for children at bus stops in the morning and afternoons.

Indiana State Police say their agency receives complaints almost daily from school bus drivers, parents and concerned citizens about motorists not stopping for school buses when required. Distracted driving is no doubt a contributing factor, say troopers who remind motorists the importance of avoiding distractions while driving, especially near schools.

Lt. Tim Lampert with the Dubois County Sheriff’s Department is stressing that motorists should reduce speed with the start of classes upon us.

“I told the guys this morning to (patrol) areas that we get complaints on,” Lampert said today.

Motorists need to be aware that classes are beginning and be especially vigilant at all times.

State police remind the public that a school bus driver will activate a bus’s flashing amber/yellow lights when preparing to stop to load and/or unload children. When motorists observe the flashing amber/yellow lights they should slow down and prepare to stop. Once a school bus stops — and red flashing lights are activated and a stop arm is extended — motorists are required to stop and not pass the school bus.

Many motorists are confused when they are required to stop, according to state police.

Trooper tips include:

• If a school bus stops on a two lane road and the red flashing lights are activated and the stop arm is extended, all motorists must stop.

When a school bus stops on a multi-lane roadway that does not have a barrier between lanes, all motorists must stop when red flashing lights are activated and the stop arm is extended.

On multi-lane roads with a grassy or concrete barrier, when a school bus stops, the red flashing lights are activated and the stop arm is extended, only vehicles behind the bus must stop. Vehicles approaching from the opposite side are NOT required to stop.

Unfortunately, every year in the United States, children are injured and killed walking to and from school and while loading and/or unloading from a school bus, according to state police.

Troopers say school buses “remain the safest means of transportation for our precious cargo, but we need every motorist to do their part and keep a watchful eye for children and to stop for school buses when required by law.”

A person who disregards a school bus stop arm commits a Class A infraction and could receive a maximum fine of $10,000.

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