October 20-24 is National School Bus Safety Week, and Michigan City Area Schools' bus drivers and monitors will be marking the event by emphasizing bus safety with students, conducting emergency evacuation drills, and discussing topics such as safe behavior while boarding the bus, proper procedures at railroad crossings, and bullying prevention.
In addition, MCAS is partnering with Indiana State Police, the Michigan City Police Department, and the LaPorte County Sheriff's Department to heighten public awareness of school bus stop-arm violations. According to MCAS Transportation Dept. Safety Manager Val Skwiat, bus drivers frequently observe motorists who disregard school buses with lights flashing and stop arms extended. "This is continues to be a serious safety concern for our students," she says. "Even on multi-lane highways, all vehicles must stop when they see the flashing lights of a school bus."
Area law enforcement will continue to patrol bus routes, particularly in those areas identified by bus drivers as locations where frequent violations occur. Motorists are ticketed for infractions; those who do not stop as students are loading and unloading face misdemeanor charges.
Pictured (L-R) with MCAS school bus driver Deb Sharp are: Master Trooper Dale Morgan, Indiana State Police; Senior Trooper Nathan Sherer, Indiana State Police; Sergeant Ken Havlin, Michigan City Police, and Major John Boyd, La Porte County Sheriff's Department.