Before each school day, Bruce Lasley recites a “little prayer” for the safety of children who board buses.
The transportation director for New Prairie United School Corp., which serves the northwest part of St. Joseph County, said that a recent fatal crash at a bus stop in Fulton County, near Rochester, can serve as a wake-up call for the driving public. A motorist Tuesday morning crashed into kids crossing a road, killing three and injuring another.
“We need help from the general public that’s flying around in cars and not paying attention,” Lasley said.
Local transportation officials and bus drivers say bus stop rules commonly aren’t followed by motorists. When buses activate yellow lights to warn they’re approaching a stop, for example, drivers often accelerate to pass instead of slowing down.
And as was the case in the Fulton County crash, sometimes drivers break the law by passing when buses are stopped with their flashing red lights on to signal students are on the move.
Indiana law requires motorists to follow these rules:
- On roads not divided by barriers, motorists traveling in both directions must stop when a school bus stops with its red flashing lights activated and stop-sign arm extended.
- On roads divided by grassy medians or concrete barriers, motorists behind such a school bus must stop; those traveling in the opposite direction don’t need to stop.