School Bus Arm Violations
On Monday, we received two reports from bus drivers with the Middlebury Community Schools of vehicles that had ran their stop arms. Both reports provided license plates and vehicle descriptions. In one of the cases, the registered owner was contacted and issued a citation. In the other case, the owner could not be reached and has been sent a citation in the mail.
How does it work when an officer does not observe the violation?
If we receive a report from a witness of a bus arm violation that is not a police officer, the law allows us to cite the registered owner of the vehicle. The registered owner of the vehicle is responsible for the violation whether or not they were driving at the time of the incident. The owner is then responsible to provide the driver's information or bring the driver with them to court. Just because a violator is not caught at the time of the violation does not mean that they will not be held accountable for their actions at a later date.
This year alone, we have issued 25 citations to vehicle owners based off of reports generated by witnesses or bus drives.
How do I report a violation?
If you observe someone run a bus arm and are able to get a license plate of the vehicle, you must also be willing to testify in court. By providing us with the plate number and not willing to testify, we cannot take action as there is no cooperating witness. If you agree to testify in court, you will need to note a few things such as vehicle description, directions of travel, time of day, and where in relation to the bus the vehicle was when the violation occurred. It is also helpful but not pertinent to have a description of the violator such as male/female, approximate age, and hair color. Violators can be reported by submitting a tip on our website or by calling our dispatch at 533-4151.