texting

Indiana police officers have devised a somewhat devious plan to separate motorists from their money, all in the name of “keeping the public safe.” They are now hopping on school buses and using the elevated riding platform to look down into the cars of other motorists to see if they are texting while driving.

According to reports, after the officers on the buses encounter a violator, they radio their colleague in patrol cars and tell them to pull the vehicle over and to issue either a warning or a citation. The move to put police officers on school buses is not without criticism, and while what is taking place in Indiana may seem like an isolated police tactic, the measure is happening all throughout the country. According to Wave3 News:

“It is unsuspecting. The school buses have tinted windows and usually have kids on board. And the buses provide a great vantage point, allowing officers to see into cars from above.
An officer will have the task of spotting drivers using a phone with their hands while a vehicle is in motion, and looking for drivers who are not wearing their seatbelt.
“We’re going to be looking for anyone who is behind the wheel of a moving car, who is going to be looking at their phone or doing something with their phone with their hands,” Assistant Chief Craig Hayes said.”

“We’re going to be looking for anyone who is behind the wheel of a moving car, who is going to be looking at their phone or doing something with their phone with their hands,” Assistant Chief Craig Hayes told Wave 3 News.

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Police in Moscow, Idaho are doing the same thing, using unsuspecting school buses to catch distracted drivers who are texting and driving. Apparently, in both instances, ticketing for violations is not limited to just texting while driving. Unsafe movements such as passing a stopped school bus, not wearing a seatbelt, and following too closely will all be fair game in this new revenue generation scheme. However, since buses use more fuel, the practice will cost taxpayers more money.

The practice now appears to be taking place nationwide, not just in the Midwest. In Attleboro, Massachusetts, officers are randomly riding school buses with school children, with the stated goal to monitor motorists and better protect children. Translation: They’ve found a new way to separate citizens from their money.

But, we at TFTP, believe little good can come from putting armed law enforcement officials on school buses with students. We’ve documented countless examples of police officers abusing their badge and brutalizing innocent citizens, and it all serves as a reminder that this new revenue generation scheme is not “for the people.”

Police officers on school buses! What could possibly go wrong? Aside from the apparent distrust children and teenagers will have after observing police officers use the vantage point of the bus to stop random members of the public, there are a lot of reasons it is a bad idea.

What will happen when the police officer smells marijuana on a student, even though the student or the parent may have a legal medical marijuana card? Will they open an investigation using Child Protective Services to threaten to take the kids out of the home?

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What happens when a fight breaks out on the bus with older teenagers? Some teenagers are old enough to be arrested and taken to jail, given a criminal record, all because the police officer was on the bus and observed the fight. Many school bus fights go unreported and therefore do not involve the law when students are working out their own problems.

No, putting police officers on school buses is just as bad of an idea as placing them inside our institutions of education in the first place. All too often we write about pedophile cops who have purposefully gotten close to kids and teenagers in an effort to victimize the vulnerable.

It is time educators stand up and demand police officers leave their schools. Men and women, who are also educators, are more than capable of keeping a school safe, dealing with rare instances of active shooters, and breaking up fights without hauling students off to jail and giving them a record. Just this week, a female teacher in Illinois stopped a school shooter in his tracks when she tackled him.

Ultimately, police should not be allowed to hide behind innocent children to catch violators of state laws. If they continue to do so, they should be subjected to the same rigorous background checks as full-time school personnel, before they are ever allowed to put a boot on the first step of a school bus. The cops on school buses schemes serve to illustrate how police will stop at nothing to generate revenue and criminalize all citizens with frivolous violations.

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Jack Burns is an educator, journalist, investigative reporter, and advocate of natural medicine