INDIANAPOLIS — Gov. Mitch Daniels signed into law on Thursday a bill that requires school bus drivers to perform end-of-route inspections.
The legislation requires school or special-purpose bus drivers to visually inspect each seat at the end of each trip. If a driver fails to do so, he or she commits a Class C infraction, which is punishable by up to a $500 fine.
"Indiana has seen a rising number of incidents of students being left behind because a few drivers are not taking the extra step to check their buses at the end of their routes," said Sen. Teresa Lubbers, co-author of the legislation, in January after the bill had been approved by a Senate committee. "This is not acceptable, and I am hopeful this legislation will encourage drivers to take the extra step of walking to the back of the buses and making sure all students have reached their destination."
The legislation also requires incidents in which a passenger is left on a bus to be reported immediately to the superintendent or the superintendent’s designee, who must then report them to the Indiana Department of Education within five working days.
The law will take effect July 1.