Vigo County School Corporation has enlisted the help of Indiana State Police to reduce violators of Indiana’s Stop Arm Law. This nationwide law requires approaching cars to slow once a school bus turns on its yellow lights. Cars must then stop completely when the lights turn red and the stop arm is extended. The Indiana State Police commercial motor vehicle division has received multiple complaints from Terre Haute bus drivers. State troopers have now been assigned to ride along on several afternoon school buses. Although there have not been any accidents involving students yet, Indiana State Police sergeant Joe Watts says everyone is trying to be proactive to prevent accidents before they happen. He says troopers on the bus have to work with officers on the street in order to catch Stop Arm Law offenders.
“The trooper on the bus utilizing a radio would radio the car plate number if possible, description of the car, description of the driver, and a trooper close to the bus would stop that car and issue an Indiana traffic summons,” Watts said.
Offenders also have to pay a $125 fine and they get 6 points against their Indiana driver’s license. There are no current plans to expand this project to other counties, but Watts hopes education and media attention will slow drivers down in the ISP district’s 5 other counties.