Indiana Sen. Randy Head drafted a bill that addresses same-side pickups on state highways; reducing speed limits near bus stops; and increasing penalties for traffic law violations resulting in death. File photo courtesy Mitzi Bowers

Indiana Sen. Randy Head drafted a bill that addresses same-side pickups on state highways; reducing speed limits near bus stops; and increasing penalties for traffic law violations resulting in death. File photo courtesy Mitzi Bowers

INDIANAPOLIS — A state lawmaker here is planning to introduce legislation intended to enhance school bus safety in response to two fatal school bus crashes that recently occurred in his district, Pharos-Tribune reports.

Sen. Randy Head has created a preliminary draft of a bill that addresses same-side pickups on state highways; allowing school districts to petition to have speed limits reduced near bus stops; and increased penalties for traffic law violations resulting in death, according to the news source. Head plans to file the bill during the Indiana General Assembly’s next legislative session, which begins on Thursday.

Head told Pharos-Tribune that he expects the bill to be amended at least once in the upcoming session, and welcomes public feedback on the bill.

Jeff Smith, the superintendent for Cass County Highway Department, told the newspaper that although he thinks many school districts in the state already implement the safety standards that Head is planning to include in the bill, “it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have it uniform across the state.” He added that allowing school districts to petition for lower speed limits near school bus stops could be a challenge because the stops can be moved often, and additional speed limit signs need to be approved by county commissioners, and different speed limits on short stretches of roadways could be tough to enforce.

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