SEYMOUR, Ind.-- The Seymour Police Department is taking a new approach to crack down on distracted driving.
On Thursday, the department launched what they call “Operation Pullover.”
Using school buses as undercover police vehicles, officers caught unsuspecting Hoosiers who are distracted driving, or otherwise breaking the law (not wearing a seat belt, moving violations, texting, etc.) The officers inside the bus then signal over to another officer nearby who pulls the person over.
"We’ve identified that the number one cause of accidents in Seymour is distracted drivers. They can say what they want but we’re just trying to make everything safe for everybody,” Seymour Police Captain Carl Lamb said.
In 2015, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration attributed nearly 3,500 deaths nationwide to distracted driving. Locally, the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute estimates that distracted driving could have played a factor in 265 fatal crashes in the state.
Officers estimated they caught about ten drivers an hour during the operation. The department expects to conduct more operations a couple times per month.
"By bringing the school bus idea to this, we thought every time someone sees a school bus in Seymour they’re not going to know when there’s an officer on the bus. So hopefully that’s going to promote safer driving around school buses and school bus drop off and pick up points,” Lamb said.