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School bus safety and legislation

Indiana school bus safety

All of Indiana is heartbroken at the story out of Fulton County of three kids killed and a fourth in critical condition after a truck ran a school bus stop-arm. A similar incident in Tampa happened just days later.

The investigations into these incidents are ongoing, but ask any bus driver and they’ll tell you people run the stop arms all the time. It’s illegal in all 50 states to run a bus with its signals flashing, but drivers fail to stop.

The National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration has more on school bus safety for parents and drivers. Ultimately, exercise caution during the school year and in school zones. Children who are late or focused on getting to school often do not have the capacity to do so while focused on getting there safely.

Despite these stories, students are 70x safer in and around a school bus than a typical car or truck. 

A USA Today report from a few years ago shows many states are permitting the use out of outside cameras, and appropriating money to catch scofflaws and others who run stop-arms or speed by school buses.

At least 12 other states—Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia—have laws that authorize the use of cameras on the outside of buses to catch fly-by drivers, according to the NCSL. And at least seven states, including New Jersey, New York and Tennessee, are considering bills this year that deal with school bus monitoring cameras. They range from providing grants to school districts to buy and install the equipment to authorizing that the cameras be allowed statewide.

Indiana, along with Virginia, have taken up the measure but have thus far failed to pass through the Legislature.

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