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Friday, May 7, 2021

Letter to the Editor: Rockport school bus safety arm enforcement

The Rockport Police Department has received funding through the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute to target violators who disregard school bus safety arms while loading and off-loading children. This funding is made available through a federal grant that is administered by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute. The Rockport Police Department will partner with the South Spencer School Corporation to conduct this enforcement.

The Rockport Police Department is one of 39 law enforcement agencies within the State of Indiana to receive this funding. Governor Holcomb released a statement about the funding on Monday, August 5, 2019, which, in part, states:

Governor Eric J. Holcomb today announced grant funding for increased traffic enforcement at school-bus stops. About 230 Indiana police agencies receive federal grants for highly visible traffic enforcement including speeding, aggressive driving and school bus stop-arm violations. The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute is awarding approximately $380,000 to 39 agencies for overtime school-bus stop enforcement over the next two months.

“Indiana police officers will be enforcing increased fines and penalties for drivers who recklessly pass bus stops and drive aggressively,” Gov. Holcomb said. “This is one of many steps that Indiana is taking to protect the safety of school children as classes resume.”

Gov. Holcomb signed a new school-bus safety law that took effect July 1. State law requires a school bus to use flashing lights and extend its stop arm while loading and unloading students along a roadway. State law also requires drivers to stop while the arm is extended. On highways divided by a physical barrier or unimproved median, traffic traveling in the opposite direction as the school bus may proceed with due caution.

Rockport Police officers will be aggressively enforcing the school bus safety laws and violators will be cited and/or arrested, as warranted, to increase compliance with Indiana traffic laws.

The Rockport Police Department extends its gratitude to the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute for this funding opportunity, which will allow our officers to ensure the safety of those children being transported by school buses.

Questions and or comments can be directed to Jason Overfield, Chief of police at the email address or phone number below.

JASON A OVERFIELD, Chief of Police

426 Main Street, PO Box 151

Rockport, Indiana 47635

Main: 812-649-2242    Fax: 812-649-2253



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