School districts around Indiana are displaying black ribbons this week, and next in memory of the three siblings who were killed while boarding their school bus in Fulton County, Indiana on Tuesday. “It is our way of grieving the students who were killed, and at the same time making a statement to the public about ignoring the extended stop-arm when students are boarding the school bus,” said Cathy Forszt, transportation manager for Duneland Schools.
In Indiana, school districts set aside one day a year to survey stop-arm violations. This year’s survey, conducted by the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS), on the illegal passing of school buses found that more than 80,000 motorists ran school bus stop arms in one day.
According to the NASDPTS, this survey provides a shocking snapshot of the violations that bus drivers and traffic officers know all too well are occurring each and every day throughout the United States. The goal of the survey is to educate motorists about the potentially tragic consequences of violating school bus stopping laws.
“Student safety is our number one priority,” said Forszt. “We are asking the public to please use extreme caution when in the vicinity of any school bus. Motorists need to be aware of morning and afternoon school buses on the roads, to watch for the flashing yellow lights and to obey the stop-arms.”