Chicago (CBS) — A Northwest Indiana police department is taking action in the wake of the school bus stop tragedy in Rochester, Indiana early this week.
Three children were struck and killed boarding a school bus.
Yesterday, CBS 2 showed you drivers swerving around a stopped school bus in west suburban Lemont.
Police in Hobart, Indiana tell CBS2 it’s happening there too, so they decided to do something about it.
The “Stop Arm Violation Campaign” will go as far as putting police officers on buses to try to curb this growing problem.
Capt. James Gonzalez of the Hobart Police said what happened in Rochester shook the department.
“What’s transpired over the last three days in our country shows how significant stop arms are and how important it is for people to realize that they’re there for a reason and they need to stop,” Gonzalez said.
Hobart police are starting by generating a new form for bus drivers to submit the license plates of offenders and pledging to place school resource officers on school buses with the highest volume of complaints. They’ll watch for motorists who drive around the stop arms and dispatch an officer to track the driver down.
Gonzalez said anyone stopped will receive a mandatory court appearance.
Hobart High School Sophomore Joey McMahan thinks it’s about time.
He almost got hit by a car as he was hopping off his school bus last winter.
“My bus driver started yelling at him,” McMahan said. “The car just sped off.”
According to the Indiana Department of Education, drivers passed buses with stop arms extended more than 3,000 times in one survey day last April.
That’s why residents here hope other communities will follow suit.
In Indiana, passing a stopped school bus is a class B misdemeanor, which could result in $1,000 fine.