CLINTON, Ind. (WTHI) - Keeping your kids safe going to and from school: it's a job that falls on the shoulders of our school bus drivers. But police say other drivers on the road make that job very difficult for them.
Most drivers stop for stopped school busses, but not all, and this creates a dangerous situation.
"People tend to forget about school zones and children out at the bus stops and that type of thing. They don't watch for busses like they should be,” said Clinton Police Chief, Perry Hollowell.
The causes? Hollowell says distracted driving and speed are the two biggest culprits.
"We see a lot of stop arm violations on the highways... people not wanting to stop or slow down for the school busses,” said Nick Meyerrose, who is the transportation director for South Vermillion Schools.
His drivers see about 70 stop arm violations each year.
Every year, the State Department of Education conducts an experiment of sorts. The state asks school districts to track how many stop arm violations they see in one day.
They conducted this experiment April 30 and saw nearly 2700 stop arm violations in that one day. That's more than 485,000 violations in one year.
That is why drivers follow strict drop off and pick up procedures.
"Bus drivers will not let students off the bus or let them cross of a morning until all the traffic is stopped in both directions,” Meyerrose said.
So far, Hollowell reports no major violations in Clinton. Still, he offers this advice to drivers: slow down, especially in school zones and bus stops.
"Just be careful. It's easier to slow down that it is to try and repair a mistake that was made,” said Hollowell.
At South Vermillion, drivers must complete a six week in-house course with the training instructor and they must pass a state exam. Of course, drivers must obtain their CDL license.
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