School bus stop arm cameras are to helping save lives

Vigo County Schools are putting in extra safety measures to makes sure your students stay safe all throughout the school day.

Posted: Sep 6, 2019 4:07 PM
Updated: Sep 6, 2019 6:14 PM

VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) -- Last year, all over the country, you heard stories about kids being hit by cars just trying to get on the school bus. Three kids were even killed in Indiana. Now, schools and local law enforcement are working hard to make sure things like this stop happening.

"Throughout the country, there have been accidents involving people running stop arms where children have been hit and sometimes a life is claimed," Derek Fell, Chief of Operations Officers for the Vigo County Sheriffs office said. 

That's why schools across the country are putting school bus stop arm cameras on their buses and Vigo County is one of them.

"People in our community know that we have cameras on buses and I think it's that little extra you know I'm going to be really cautious around this school bus so I don't face a very serious charge," Bill Riley, Vigo County Schools' Director of Communication said. 

If you run a stop arm on a school there are two cameras that are going to catch you. The first one is in the front. That's going to get a video of you in your car. It's going to get what you were doing if you were distracted, or texting while driving, and it's also going to get the color and type of car that you were driving.

Now flip that around and the one on the back, that's going to get your license plate and what happened after you passed that stop arm on these school buses.

"Our children matter so much and we spend 7 or 8 hours a day educating them, but getting them to and from home and school safely is really important to us," Riley said. "So, if these stop-arm cameras are preventive great. If they get a dangerous driver off the road great, but we will continue to invest in things that keep our children safe."

So far - numbers statewide have gone down. Officers said that's with a lot of help from you on road. Reporting stop-arm violations and paying more attention to your commutes.

Leaders also said school bus drivers are being extra cautious now. Riley said drivers won't even open the door or put the stop arm out if they see a car they don't think is going to stop or is driving too recklessly. 

Right now, the county has an active investigation on one driver who ran through a school bus stop arm. If you run a stop are you could be charged with anywhere between a class A misdemeanor all the way to a level 6 felony. 

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