FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): The Indiana State Police is serious about student safety as schools re-open for the first time in 5 months, and they have a comprehensive plan to keep everyone safe.
Sergeant Brian Walker of the Fort Wayne Post tells WOWO News that troopers will be following or “shadowing” buses on their routes, looking for stop arm violations.
In years past, the Indiana State Police would often have a Trooper riding on the bus, supported by other units, looking for stop arm and other moving violations that would potentially endanger students. This year, due to COVID-19,
Troopers will instead step up enforcement through shadowing. Bus drivers can also be used as witnesses in violations. Walker also said that bus drivers are very good about reporting ongoing problems or trends, and that the State Police tracks high risk and problem zones and targets enforcement where it’s needed in those areas.
One key initiative for the Indiana State Police is the inspection of the buses themselves. Simply put, the buses are inspected inside and out, top to bottom and front to back in a comprehensive, multi-point inspection that looks for everything from components functioning, to wear and even the seat belt and safety systems for the drivers. Buses 12 years and older are subjected to two inspections per year with newer buses requiring only one.
Indiana has 16,269 school buses between public and private schools and bus companies and 21 Troopers to inspect all of them. Locally, about 7 Troopers focus on the 520 school buses in Allen County. You can find information about your child’s bus by clicking here.
Walker also said that Troopers will be working school speed zone enforcement, especially in areas such as Coesse, Woodlan & New Haven that have high traffic volume and potentially higher speeds in the case of more rural schools or schools that adjoin a divided highway.