SEVERE WX : Flood Warning View Alerts

Community members talk school bus stopping safety

After three young school children were killed as they crossed the street to get on the bus in Fulton County, many in the Greater Lafayette area are starting to voice concerns and raise awareness.

Posted: Oct 31, 2018 7:23 PM

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) - After two six-year-old twin boys and their older nine-year-old sister were killed as they crossed the street to get on the bus in Fulton County, many in the Greater Lafayette area are starting to voice concerns and raise awareness.

"It's your worst nightmare that something like this can happen," said Lafayette Police Department School Resource Officers Mark Roberts.

Roberts works with children of all ages across all Lafayette schools.

"It happens all over the county and it's a shame,” said Tippecanoe County School Corporation Transportation Director Greg Haltom.

A shame that cars don't seem to want to stop for the school bus stop sign.

And because one driver didn't stop, three young children in Fulton County are forever taken from their loved ones.

"I can't imagine the unspeakable sadness and tragedy," said local mom Melissa Luebbe.

Anna Hirst has been a bus driver for West Lafayette schools for six years. She sees cars blow past her bus everyday.

"I am not on as busy of a street as other drivers and they have multiple stop arm violations on a daily basis,” she said.

Melissa Luebbe stands with her 5-year-old son Henry every day as he gets on Hirst's school bus. Henry, a kindergartener, just started riding the bus in August.

"Henry and Melissa are great because they will wait until I make eye contact with them and I give them the crossing signal," said Hirst.

All students are supposed to wait for their bus driver to give the “all clear” signal for them to board the bus. Because the bus driver sits at a higher viewpoint, Haltom says they have the best chance to catch a car that isn’t stopping and warn the student.

"Mrs. Anna (Hirst) tries to be extremely detail oriented about making sure that she does not let children cross if there is traffic nearby,” said Luebbe of her son’s bus driver.

So when can you legally pass a stopped school bus?

When a bus' stop arm is extended and the red lights are flashing, vehicles are required by law to stop. When they are flashing yellow, you can still pass. But Officer Roberts recommends drivers see the yellow lights as a warning to stop.

Hirst said she regularly sees people racing to pass her bus while the lights are flashing yellow.

"When you see those yellow lights, don't try to beat the bus. Come to a complete stop and wait until they have loaded or unloaded the students." said Roberts.

On a regular two lane street, both lanes must stop for a school bus. However when there is a grass or cement median dividing the road, cars driving in the opposite direction of the bus can pass using caution.

If a police officer was to catch you speeding through a school bus stop, Roberts said that action can cost you a lot..

“Reckless driving is something someone can be incarcerated for,” he said. “So if you just blatantly blow through a stop sign and an officer sees it, their going to stop you and they can technically arrest you for reckless driving."

You could also get a monetary fine for ignoring the bus stop.

Hirst said she and other bus drivers are actively looking at license plates and noting car descriptions to report to the police.

Many don’t want to see what happened in Fulton County happen here in Tippecanoe County.

You may see some little black ribbons on your child's bus for the next few days.

"The Indiana State Police have allowed district buses to place black flags or ribbons on our bus ,as long as they didn't obstruct views, in a way to memorialize the folks up in Rochester," said Haltom.

He explained that all TSC bus drivers go through extensive training on how to safely get students on and off the bus.

"We've been working with the sheriff's office and doing some upgraded enforcement for that," he said.

Hirst said that West Lafayette Schools sent out an email to all bus drivers refreshing them on all the do’s and don’ts of proper school bus safety.

Many of our bus drivers are actively working to help educate students about school bus safety.

"It's important that I teach them daily that you need to always look around you too," said Hirst.

But parents can help too.

"Parents need to talk to them and say, Hey, you know wait until the bus driver is ready for you, don't just run out there," said Roberts.

Because at the end of the day, everyone just wants to see their kids to come home safely.

"No hurry that you're in, no place that you need to be is more important than a child's life,” said Luebbe.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 30901

Reported Deaths: 1964
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion9040531
Lake3191167
Cass15796
Allen121365
St. Joseph113234
Hendricks110365
Hamilton109291
Johnson1065102
Elkhart93827
Madison57658
Bartholomew46733
Porter46521
Clark45038
LaPorte38721
Tippecanoe3563
Jackson3531
Howard34417
Delaware34027
Hancock31527
Shelby31121
Floyd31138
Boone27935
Morgan25724
Vanderburgh2402
Decatur22131
White2128
Montgomery21114
Clinton2041
Harrison18321
Grant17820
Noble17420
Dubois1712
Greene16723
Warrick16326
Dearborn16221
Monroe15810
Henry1556
Lawrence14222
Miami1351
Vigo1357
Putnam1297
Jennings1264
Orange12222
Scott1153
Ripley1126
Franklin1068
Carroll882
Daviess8116
Steuben762
Newton7210
Wabash722
Kosciusko711
Wayne665
Marshall611
LaGrange592
Washington521
Jasper521
Fayette504
Fulton461
Rush452
Jefferson411
Jay410
Clay381
Pulaski380
Randolph373
Whitley342
Brown331
Sullivan311
Starke303
Owen301
DeKalb281
Knox240
Benton240
Crawford230
Perry230
Huntington222
Tipton221
Wells220
Switzerland190
Blackford191
Fountain172
Parke170
Posey170
Spencer141
Gibson132
Ohio130
Adams121
Warren121
Martin100
Union80
Vermillion80
Pike50
Unassigned0152
West Lafayette
Scattered Clouds
78° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 80°
Kokomo
Clear
78° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 80°
Rensselaer
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 79°
Fowler
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 79°
Williamsport
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 70°
Crawfordsville
Broken Clouds
66° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 66°
Frankfort
Overcast
70° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 70°
Delphi
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 79°
Monticello
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 79°
Logansport
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 81°
Warm Temperatures For Memorial Day
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events