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Friday, May 6, 2016

Not stopping for buses a problem with I-70 construction

Saturday, September 10, 2011

(Photo)
This South Putnam High School school bus passes the 38-mile marker on U.S. 40 before heading to Putnamville to make stops.
When a bus extends its flashing stop arm, traffic both ways is required by law to stop. But along U.S. 40, in Putnamville and Mt. Meridian, that hasn't been happening so far this school year.

South Putnam School Corporation Transportation Director Neil Rissler has received reports of several problems regarding people not stopping for buses along the highway. He said he attributes the problem to construction on I-70 increasing out-of-state traffic along U.S. 40.

"We've been fortunate in no close calls," Rissler said.

Bus drivers are expected to be careful, inform Rissler of instances of reckless behavior and not extend the arms at the last minute.

Drivers are also asked to try to get the plate numbers of drivers that break the law, but not at the expense of watching the children getting on and off the bus.

"We try to (get the plate numbers) but they're usually moving so fast and we're trying to keep track of the students," Rissler said.

Rissler has spoken with the Indiana State Police at Putnamville about placing undercover police officers along the road in order to catch those that break the law.

According to State Trooper Cory Robinson, that has not yet happened. The number of reports has gone down since school started, but it does still happen.

"When school first starts, you have more problems than you do the rest of the year," Robinson said.

The penalty for breaking this law is typically an infraction, similar to a speeding ticket. But drivers can also be charged with a misdemeanor if the driver proves to be negligent of the safety of others, Robinson said.

While the increase in the amount of infractions may have increased because of highway construction, it still occurs every year regardless.

Robinson asks that both bus drivers and others be cautious and follow the law.


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It is my understanding that if the road is divided by a median, the vehicles headed the opposite direction of the school bus does not have to stop

-- Posted by maxpower on Sat, Sep 10, 2011, at 7:37 AM

Note to maxpower. In Putnamville and Mt. Meridian there is no median so traffic is required to stop both directions. I guess you've never been to both places.

-- Posted by Georgianow on Sat, Sep 10, 2011, at 8:01 AM

Just a couple days ago I witnessed a State Trooper in Mt. Meridian heading east behind a school bus run a stop arm. I guess he wasn't too concerned about the children's safety. No lights or sirens. Probably in a hurry to get home.

After reading Mr. Robinson's comments, it sounds like State and County Officers are not too concerned about the law being followed and the safety of our children.

-- Posted by yachtsman on Sat, Sep 10, 2011, at 10:56 AM

Speed limit in Putnamville is 45, 55 in Mount Meridian. Perhaps a marked highly visible police car would do wonders for slowing the traffic to at least the speed limit during school bus hours and they still might get a chance to generate some revenue. Deterring many is far preferable than catching one or two.

-- Posted by exhoosier2 on Sat, Sep 10, 2011, at 11:24 PM

Be aware what can happen when a school bus stops and people don't pay attention. As it did on U.S. 36 a couple weeks ago when a school bus stopped and a grain truck perhaps blocked vision of what was going on and one driver was not paying attention causing the fatal accident.

-- Posted by tksutherlin on Sun, Sep 11, 2011, at 9:48 AM

Around Mt. Meridian as well as Manhattan, there are signs stating that traffic on both sides of the road must stop.

-- Posted by hoosierloser on Sun, Sep 11, 2011, at 10:08 AM

There are signs in several places on US 40 that say "ALL 4 LANES STOP" when school bus stops. Anyone who can read would be aware of the requirements, median or not.

-- Posted by Clovertucky on Sun, Sep 11, 2011, at 1:20 PM

IC 9-21-12-3

Divided highways; vehicles approaching school bus; duty to use caution

Sec. 3. On a highway divided into two (2) or more roadways by:

(1) leaving an intervening space that is unimproved and not intended for vehicular travel;

(2) a physical barrier; or

(3) a dividing section constructed to impede vehicular traffic; and

if the school bus is on the opposite side of the traffic barrier, the person who drives an approaching vehicle need not stop and may proceed with due caution for the safety of children boarding or leaving the school bus.

As added by P.L.2-1991, SEC.9.

-- Posted by ISF-C/O on Mon, Sep 12, 2011, at 3:50 AM

Georgianow...you don't have to go far out of either place to find where 40 IS separated...but since you are an expert on both places, I guess you knew that.

-- Posted by maxpower on Mon, Sep 12, 2011, at 7:48 AM

THEY DON'T NEED TO STOP!

Read the Indiana code next time before publishing an article.

IC 9-21-12-3 (Indiana Traffic Code)...

Divided highways; vehicles approaching school bus; duty to use caution

Sec. 3. On a highway divided into two (2) or more roadways by:

(1) leaving an intervening space that is unimproved and not intended for vehicular travel;

(2) a physical barrier; or

(3) a dividing section constructed to impede vehicular traffic; and if the school bus is on the opposite side of the traffic barrier, the person who drives an approaching vehicle need not stop and may proceed with due caution for the safety of children boarding or leaving the school bus.

-- Posted by banginglc1 on Tue, Sep 13, 2011, at 9:10 AM


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