School bus stop arm violations caught on camera in Delphi

Operations director Ross Striebeck said the corporation spent about $47,000 installing stop arm cameras on all buses this summer.

Posted: Aug 26, 2019 7:30 AM
Updated: Aug 26, 2019 7:30 AM

DELPHI, Ind. (WLFI) -- A Carroll County school has already had five drivers pass bus stop arms in just the first two weeks of classes.

However, they were all caught on camera. It's all thanks to an investment by the Delphi Community School Corporation.

"Oh, it makes me mad," said Delphi Community Schools bus driver Shelley Bowlin. "It makes me mad that they're not paying attention or whatever it is that they're doing."

Bowlin said stop arm violations are all too common.

"I have my stop arm ran at least three times a month," Bowlin said.

But the corporation started the school year ready to catch violators and hold them accountable.

"We're serious about this," said Bowlin. "You cannot run a stop arm on a bus."

Operations director Ross Striebeck said the corporation spent about $47,000 installing stop arm cameras on all buses this summer.

The camera takes a clear picture of the drivers vehicle, including the license plate. That information is given to the county prosecutor, and then a ticket is mailed to the driver.

"It's a $300 to $400 fine," said Striebeck. "It could be a felony on your record which stays with you for a long time."

Before the cameras were installed, bus drivers said it was nearly impossible to write down the license plate numbers of the violators.

But now that they have the cameras, if you pass a stop arm, you're going to get caught.

"There's no question," said Striebeck. "If we just had a still picture, they could probably argue that the stop arm wasn't out, but the video shows your miles per hour. It shows that you've got your amber lights on. It shows that you've got your red stop arm out. You can't contest that."

Even though violations are still happening, the hope is that those who are caught learn their lesson before tragedy happens.

"We're talking about children's lives, said Striebeck. "It could be their children, it's just scary to think how close it can be."

"Pay attention," said Bowlin. "We're a big, yellow bus. It's not like you can't see us."

Striebeck said most of the stop arm violations have happened on highways. Those include Old State Road 25, State Road 218 and U.S. 421.

He also told News 18 that the corporation is working with State Police. Troopers are now patrolling the hot spots where the violations are being reported.

Striebeck added that he thinks that not all people realize that the amber lights on school buses mean stop, not caution or slow down.

He said if you see those flashing, stop, even if the stop arm isn't out yet.

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