Now that school is back in session across the state, Indiana State Police are reminding motorists to use extreme caution when navigating school zones.
School start and dismissal times often coincide with morning and afternoon rush hours, meaning more traffic on the roadways that can pose a bigger threat to children at bus stops. One such threat exists in Brownsburg at the intersection of Green Street and Motif Boulevard, whereparents and educators at Alice’s Wonderland daycare are concerned about speeding motorists.
”The issue is that our daycare is on a side street and the bus can’t come down here,” said Robyn Stevens, director of Alice’s Wonderland. Children from the center are walked to and from the intersection for drop-off and pick-up up to four times daily. Parents and staff say they have observed excessive speeds and motorists disregarding the stop arm.
Veronica Fritsch has a 4-year-old son who suffers from autism and rides the bus thattransports children from Alice’s.
”I don’t want to see a kid killedor injured because people aren’t stopping for the one or two minutes a child is getting on or off the bus,”Fritsch said. Because there is no posted school bus stop sign, Fritsch says she has observed drivers disregard the stop arm or drive around the bus when the children are loading.
”We want to make the community aware that there is a bus stop there,”she said.
State law authorizes Indiana cities and towns to set their own school zone speed limits, which are typically 20-25 mph during school hours. Speeding in a school zone when children are present is considered a Class B infraction, punishable by ticketing and fines up to $1,000. Passing a school bus when the stop arm is extended is considered reckless driving and is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by fines up to $1,000, imprisonment up to 180 days, or a suspended license of up to one year. Unless separated by a physical barrier or median, traffic in both directions must stop when the arm is extended and students are loading or unloading.