One of the things that attracts people to our city is the steps that we take to make Fort Wayne safe for everyone – including children and families.
With that in mind, school transportation officials have asked that we remind residents to be cautious when approaching a stopped school bus. Officials have seen an increasing number of school bus stop arm violations – cases where motorists are disregarding the extended "STOP" arm of the school bus -- which poses a risk to the thousands of children in our community who ride the bus to school. In an effort to increase safety for our students, the Fort Wayne Police Department reminds motorists of their duty to stop for stopped school buses, specifically on undivided roadways. An undivided roadway is one where a barrier or intervening space does not exist to separate lanes of oncoming traffic.
Many of the violations are occurring on four-lane undivided roadways such as Illinois Road, Aboite Center Road, E. Rudisill Boulevard, Spy Run Avenue and Hobson Road.
Motorists can expect to see patrol vehicles in these areas, monitoring these areas of concern.
On these undivided streets or roadways, motorists in all lanes of travel must stop when a school bus has stopped and has the "STOP" arm device extended. Drivers of vehicles who encounter school buses should slow down and be ready to stop if need be. Passing a stopped school bus with the "STOP" arm extended is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail, and a $1,000 fine. The offense is a Class A misdemeanor if it causes bodily injury to a person and is punishable by up to one year of incarceration and a $5,000 fine.
Speaking of safety, as the cold weather settles in for the season, the Fort Wayne Fire Department reminds everyone of a few safety steps that should be taken. Because changing weather temperatures can cause windows and doors to stick, windows should be checked to ensure they can open and close properly in case they are needed as emergency exits.
And, with Daylight Savings Time ending on Sunday, November 4, please be sure that when you adjust your clocks, you also test your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. This is a great time to not only change your clocks but change the batteries in these life saving devices, too. Visit our fire department website at www.fortwaynefiredepartment.org for additional cold weather safety tips.
On another topic, the 11th Annual Great Tree Canopy Comeback will take place in Fort Wayne on Saturday, November 3. Volunteers will gather in Foster Park to combat the critical loss of trees in our city by planting trees. Community volunteers of all ages are invited to meet at the Foster Park Golf Course at 10 a.m. to take part in this event, which is sponsored by Friends of the Parks and Parks and Recreation staff from Fort Wayne, New Haven and Allen County.
This year, more than 250 trees will be planted in Foster Park, McMillen Park, Repka Park, Heatherwood Park in New Haven and Matea County Park. Over the past ten years, this campaign has resulted in more than 2,000 trees being planted in our parks!
And, finally, you may have noticed that our Department of Public Works recently completed work on a new sidewalk connection from Maplewood Road to Dale Drive, thanks to funding provided by our Community Development division. We know this improvement, like all of our sidewalk additions, will make it a bit easier for residents to safely travel around our city and neighborhoods.