INDIANAPOLIS — A state Senate committee last week passed legislation that would require school bus drivers to do end-of-route inspections.
"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, author of the bill. "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 bill would require a school or special-purpose bus operator to visually inspect each seat within the bus at the end of each trip. If an operator fails to do so, he or she could face a Class C infraction, which is punishable by a fine of up to $500.
Lubbers’ legislation would also require the owner of a school bus or special-purpose bus to report an incident in which a passenger is left on a bus to the Indiana Department of Education no later than five working days after the incident occurred.
The bill will next move to the full Senate for further consideration. If enacted, it would take effect July 1.