TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — Tippecanoe School Corporation and the Tippecanoe County Sheriff's office have teamed up for an enforcement blitz.
TSC officials took a ride on local school buses with the busiest traffic stops while officers followed behind. This was to catch drivers committing a stop-arm violation.
TSC's Transportation Operations Manager Chris Downard rode on a Harrison High School bus. He was in communication with a sheriff officer as the bus made its stops.
“In case anybody runs a stop arm, I would call it out, describe the vehicle, they'll (officers) make a traffic stop on that vehicle, issue a citation as they saw fit,” said Downward.
The enforcement blitz is something TSC and the sheriff's office will conduct randomly throughout the year. The purpose is to bring awareness to drivers and also to monitor the roadways in which they receive the most calls about bus law violators. TSC's Director of Transportation Greg Haltom said this blitz comes after an increase in not only bus drivers reporting violators but other drivers also calling in.
“You gotta understand our drivers take a great deal of ownership of their children and they don't want to see any kid hurt but especially those ones on their bus,” said Haltom.
According to Haltom, most stops take an average of 30 seconds. Tippecanoe County Sheriff’s Officer Lieutenant Robert Hainje said the office has zero tolerance for drivers who break the stop arm law.
“If you commit a stop arm violation, it's a mandatory court appearance before a superior court six traffic judge. The judge will look at the violation and the judge can assess a fine,” said Hainje.
Fines range from $187 to $5,000. A criminal offense could get you up to a year in jail in addition to being fined.
The hours of enforcement conducted were from approximately 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. According to the Tippecanoe County Sheriff's Office, two citations were issued for school bus stop-arm violations. One violation occurred on Brady Lane and the other on McCarty Lane.
TSC and the sheriff's department focused on State Road 43 North between CR 600 N and CR 725 N, Brady Lane between Concord Road and Portsmouth Drive, State Road 25 between Old US 231 and Old Romney Road and McCarty Lane between Veterans Memorial Parkway and Park East Blvd.
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