Late buses, school bus drivers unfamiliar with routes, and missing children on the first day of school prompted officials to close Muncie Community Schools in Indiana for the rest of the week. This is the latest hitch in a series of problems for the financially embattled school district.
Over a fifth of the nation’s school bus drivers reported nearly 78,000 incidents of motorists illegally passing stopped school buses during one-day counts earlier this year, equating to 14 million violations over a 180-day school year.
The state Department of Public Safety said motorists who illegally pass stopped school buses with their stop arms out and red lights flashing face $500 fines starting Aug. 1.
A new law authorizes county school boards independently or under contract with a vendor to install stop-arm cameras on school buses to capture incidents of illegal passing and use the evidence to issue citations.
The Ohio Association for Pupil Transportation (OAPT) recently launched an education program featuring a specialty license plate that reminds motorists to stop for a loading or unloading school bus’ flashing red lights and stop arm.