Indiana Senate passes school bus safety bill

Published: Feb. 18, 2019 at 3:51 PM EST
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A school bus safety bill has moved on to the House after the Indiana Senate passed Senate Bill 2 by a vote of 49 to 0 on Monday.

This is the bill that was inspired by a terrible tragedy in our viewing area when three children died and one was seriously injured at a Fulton County bus stop last fall.

Senate Bill 2 includes:

- Tougher penalties for violators

- Curbside drop offs and pickups on Indiana highways to prevent children from crossing the road

- The ability for school districts and individuals to petition for slower speeds in school zones

- School districts must review bus routes and safety policies every year by September 1

- An emphasis on school bus traffic rules at the BMV when getting a license

- School corporations may add stop arm cameras with enforcement measures

Alivia Stahl, Mason Ingle and Xzavier Ingle died in the Fulton County bus stop tragedy. Parents Brittany and Shane Ingle released the following statement after the Indiana Senate passed Senate Bill 2:

Shane and I are extremely happy excited that the Senate has voted to move this legislation forward to the house for final vote. We wish to thank Senator Head and the entire Indiana Senate for passing this important piece of legislation and want to thank everyone that has been so supportive of our efforts to bring meaningful new legislation to improve school bus safety for all children in Indiana and naming this piece of legislation in memory of our children "MAXSTRONG". We are almost there, but still have work to do to assure this bill passes the House and is put before the Governor for signature. We ask everyone to continue writing, calling and making their voices heard so that the House passes this bill. The MAXSTRONG FOUNDATION that Shane and I have created in memory of our beautiful children will continue to work to bring this and other important pieces of legislation into law as well as help to make sure all Indiana School Busses are equipment with "School Bus Stop Arm Cameras"....

The authors of the bill are Randy Head of Logansport and Erin Houchin of Salem, Indiana.

Michael Schwab, Brittany Stahl's father and the grandfather of the three children killed in the crash, released the following statement:

To everyone across Indiana: Today we came one step closer to seeing the MAXSTRONG BILL (Senate Bill #2) become law thanks to Senator Randy Head and the entire Indiana Senate who unanimously passed the bill 49-0. The bill now moves to the House for final vote and if passed it will be sent to the Governor to be signed into law. Since October 20th when my grandchildren Mason, Alivia and Xzavier were killed by a vehicle that failed to stop for a school bus stop arm, people from Rochester and throughout Indiana as well as people from across the country have prayed, loved and supported our family to help us through this horrible tragedy. You all rallied around us and supported our efforts to help bring new meaningful legislation forward and without you, today would not have been possible. THANK YOU INDIANA Our family is happier than words can describe that this bill will now move to the House for vote and it’s a big win for the safety of all children in Indiana that ride school busses, but we are not done yet. We still need your help. We need everyone to continue to call, email and write your legislators in the House to tell them you want them to vote to APPROVE the ‘MAXSTRONG BILL” in memory of “Mason, Alivia and Xzavier. TOGETHER we will get this important piece of legislation passed and signed into law to help keep ALL CHILDRENthat ride school busses in Indiana safe. Again, THANK YOU to EVERYONE for their continued love, prayers, support and efforts. Regards, Michael Schwab

NewsCenter 16 will follow the progress of this bill in the House as we continue our push for school bus safety solutions in Tricia Sloma's series of reports titled "Never Again: Preventing Bus Stop Tragedies."