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Seymour police say undercover school bus operation helping to reduce distracted driving

SEYMOUR, Ind. – Seymour police say a bold approach to crack down on distracted driving has resulted in great success.

Operation Pullover was launched last summer by the Seymour Police Department. Using school buses as undercover police vehicles, officers caught unsuspecting Hoosiers that were engaged in distracted driving, or otherwise breaking the law (no seat belts, moving violations, etc.) The officers inside the bus then signal over to another officer nearby who pulls the person over.

During their first go-round of Operation Pullover officers caught plenty of traffic violators. Fast forward 13 months, and officers say the results have totally different.

“We kind of want to plant that seed that when you see a school bus, you never know when a police officer is on it,” Seymour Police Captain Carl Lamb said.

Since the first Operation Pullover, the department says the number of violators caught and the number accidents around town has gone down measurably. Lamb says the best indicator of success is that the number of reports of drivers who ignore school bus stop arms is plummeting to zero.

“We’re proud to say we have yet to have that first incident reported to us where a motorist has passed a school bus with the stop arm out,” said Lamb. “Prior to July of last year we were averaging 2-5 reports a week of someone passing a school bus with the stop arm out.”

Lamb added that the decrease in reports means kids will be safer heading into the school year.

“Today’s world and society is dangerous enough, without having to worry about your children getting on and off the bus,” he said.