PITTSBORO, Ind. - As schools continue to work out the best ways to keep kids safe while in class, one police department is asking for help keeping them safe on the way to school.
Over winter break, leaders with the Pittsboro Police Department addressed concerns about school bus safety on Facebook.
The post gave several tips about what parents should do to help keep their children safe. It included recommending parents record violations. "We certainly encourage parents to record the incidents they witness and report them," a portion of the post said.
A Pittsboro parent said if police are around, drivers are less likely to commit a violation.
Pittsboro Police Chief Christi Patterson said the department can't patrol everywhere at once, which is why her staff made the recommendation to parents in the community.
"If you can identify the driver, and have the plate number, we will more than happy to go speak with that driver," Patterson said.
The chief added that the video should also provide the date and time and whoever takes the video should know the bus number, too.
"It’s very important if you can get the plate number and the date and time, and a description of the driver that would be great because someone else could be driving the car," said Patterson. "We can still get a hold of the owner and find out who was driving the car on that date and time, and if we need to pursue charges with the prosecutor’s office, we can."
Patterson said complaints have already come in this school year. Patrols have increased in one area of town where parents have voiced concerns about drivers committing stop arm violations.
Susan Mahan is a parent with six children in North West Hendricks County School Corporation schools. She said she's seen several incidents of drivers going around buses when the stop arm was out. She hopes residents will help and keep all students safer.
"If we give more tickets and these are stiff penalties we are giving, people will slow down," said Mahan.
Students in the district return to school on Tuesday, January 8.
Other tips police gave parents, included:
- Encourage students to remain focused and stay aware of other vehicles when getting on and off a bus.
- Children and adults should wear bright-colored clothing while waiting for a bus to arrive.
- Have children wait for the bus to come to a complete stop before crossing the road to get on board and cross in a group.
- If a student drops something, tell the bus driver before going into the street to pick it up.