The La Porte County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) will be working to safeguard students this spring. Over the next couple of weeks, deputies will be positioned along bus stops and routes looking for stop-arm violations and motorists driving dangerously.
The overtime patrols are part of Indiana’s Stop-Arm Violation Enforcement (SAVE) program. SAVE was developed by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI) and is funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. As part of the effort, deputies will work with local school corporations and bus drivers to identify problem areas where the highest number of violations occur.
“We take stop-arm violations very seriously as they jeopardize the safety of every child on the bus,” said Captain Derek J. Allen. “Pay attention to the road, and if you see a bus with flashing yellow lights, slow down and get ready to stop. As drivers, we are all responsible for school bus safety.”
In Indiana, it is against the law for motorists to pass a stopped bus while it has its red lights flashing and stop-arm extended. This applies to all roads, with one exception – a multi-lane roadway divided by a physical barrier or unpaved median. For the one exception, vehicles traveling in the opposite direction of the bus may proceed with due caution.
“Always err on the side of caution when it comes to school bus safety. If you’re not sure what to do, just stop,” said Devon McDonald, ICJI Executive Director. “The best way to think about it is to drive like it’s your child boarding or riding that bus.”
ABOUT THE SAVE PROGRAM
Launched in 2019, the Stop-Arm Violation Enforcement (SAVE) program works to provide safe transportation routes for students going to and from school in Indiana. Grants are awarded to law enforcement agencies to conduct high-visibility patrols along school bus stops and routes. SAVE is funded by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration and administered by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute.