IMPD warns drivers to pay attention near schools, bus stops as students head back to class

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MARION COUNTY, Ind. – Believe it or not, summer is over for some central Indiana students. As they go back to school, police are urging everyone to pay attention on the roads.

Perry Township students returned back to school Wednesday.

"Probably the greatest thing is when they see their teachers. They come up and give them a hug or fist bump or high five. They say ‘hey we’ve missed you.’ We’re back to school and lets do some work," Perry Township Schools' Superintendent Patrick Mapes said.

School safety and transportation was on Mapes’ mind.

"Probably the biggest thing with safety right now is to make certain the kids understand you don’t move until that bus comes to a complete stop; that door opens and then you get on the bus," Mapes said.

Perry Township works with law enforcement months before school starts to ensure students are safe.

"It’s important that our police department knows where those routes are at and where our large pickups are at," Mapes said.

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department is gearing up for students going back to school by filming a PSA to remind drivers to pay attention to the road.

"Sometimes they are on their bike. They get off the sidewalk and sometimes they are having fun and goof around back and forth from school. We want people to pay attention to them especially in areas where they are close to roadways," said the Asst. Cmdr of IMPD's Homeland Security Bureau, Brian Mahone.

They also want drivers to pay attention to buses.

A new bill this year increased criminal penalties for drivers who disregard flashing red lights and stop arms on school buses.

"Every time you start seeing that yellow bus out there and the lights are on, you’ve got to slow down knowing that you’re going to have to stop and make sure our students are safe," Mapes said.

You can expect to see more IMPD officers patrolling near schools.

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