January 14, 2019
An Indiana mom who lost her kids in a school bus stop crash in October is fighting for tougher school bus laws. Along with lawmakers, the family is supporting stricter laws against drivers who pass buses when their lights are flashing and their stop arms are extended.
On October 30, 2018, Brittany Ingle’s three kids, a nine-year-old daughter and six-year-old twin boys, were struck and killed as they crossed a highway to board their school bus. The cross arm on the school bus was extended and the bus lights were flashing, but the driver claimed she didn’t realize she was approaching a stopped school bus and didn’t see the children until they were right in front of her.
School Bus Legislation
The bill proposed to the Indiana Senate by State Senator Randy Head of Logansport, introduces stricter penalties for those who pass a stopped school bus, including a license suspension and a felony charge if a person passes a stopped bus and injures someone (it’s currently only a misdemeanor). He’s also suggesting the addition of cameras to bus arms to capture images of violating vehicles.
Supporters of the proposed legislation hope that the threat of jail time, fines and probation will encourage drivers to obey the school bus passing laws and better protect kids.
Always Stop for Stopped School Buses
The problem with drivers passing stopped school buses isn’t just an issue in Indiana, it’s a problem nationwide. As a reminder, current state law requires drivers to stop when a school bus is dropping off or picking up children. Drivers are also required to stop when a bus has its stop arm extended and red lights flashing – and this applies to drivers in both directions unless there is a physical divider between the lanes.