(UNDATED) - The 2012/2013 school is year is upon us in Indiana.
The start of school brings increased bus traffic and children waiting or walking near roadways.
The Indiana State Police would like to remind motorists to watch for children in school zones and waiting to board buses, especially in the early morning hours. Remember, whenever the school bus stop arm is extended you are required by Indiana law to stop.
Disregarding a school bus stop arm is a class B misdemeanor punishable with up to 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. Troopers will have zero tolerance for anyone disregarding a school bus stop arm or speeding in a school zone.
Parents, most school bus-related accidents involve children who dash in front of a car or school bus to retrieve papers or other dropped articles. You should emphasize the danger zone immediately surrounding the school bus. The area, approximately ten feet around the bus, is where most children are injured. The bus driver has limited visibility in this area. Parents should encourage children to carry articles in a back pack or book bag and never chase after dropped items.
Parents should also remind children of these school bus safety tips:
* Wait for the bus in a safe place away from traffic.
* No horseplay at the bus stop.
* Wait until the bus and other traffic comes to a complete stop before approaching the bus.
* Always cross in front of the bus, the driver should always be able to see you.
* When on the bus remain seated and talk quietly so the driver will not be distracted.
It is everyone's responsibility to ensure our children are able to safely travel to school. Citizens are encouraged to report anyone observed disregarding a school bus stop arm by calling their local law enforcement agency or the Indiana State Police at 1-812-332-4411.
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