We closed out 2022 having a busy year. On the left side are the 2022 year to date stats.
Criminal Arrests: 264
DUI Arrests: 69
Reportable Crashes: 77
Traffic Citations: 904
Written Warnings: 5,395
Sex Crimes: 10
Drug Offenses: 30
The 2023 year began with the official School Resource Officer program in place. A formal memorandum of understanding was established between Chippewa Township and the Blackhawk School District. This agreement put Chippewa Police Officers in the schools in January 2023 on a full-time basis. The police department has several certified School Resource Officers and has assigned two of them to the schools. Corporal Jacob Delmonico and Officer Jesse Richman have been appointed to those roles and have done a tremendous job. They have received accolades from the staff, parents, and teachers. Jacob and Jesse are involved in every facet of school related matters and the level of prevention is immeasurable. We knew the SROs were vital to school safety, but never imagined they would have such a tremendous positive impact. The officers are enhancing school safety and preparation and have intervened in countless incidents to prevent escalation and/or injury.
On the subject of schools and safety, I need to discuss school bus safety. In 2022, we had an unprecedented number of School Bus violations, meaning motorists have negated the FLASHING LIGHTS on the school bus. 20 motorists ran/violated flashing school bus lights and placed children in significant danger. Within the first 3 months of 2023, we already have had 3 motorists dangerously run the flashing school bus lights. This is a serious and dangerous violation for obvious reasons. Please review the below listed PA School Bus Stopping Law.
Pennsylvania’s School Bus Stopping Law
Vehicle Code section 3345 Meeting or Overtaking School Bus requires:
- Motorists must stop at least 10 feet away from school buses that have their red lights flashing and stop arm extended.
- Motorists must stop when they are behind a bus, meeting the bus, or approaching an intersection where a bus is stopped.
- Motorists following or traveling alongside a school bus must also stop until the red lights have stopped flashing, the stop arm is withdrawn, and all children have reached safety.
- If physical barriers such as grassy medians, guide rails, or concrete median barriers separate oncoming traffic from the bus, motorists in the opposing lanes may proceed without stopping.
- Do not proceed until all the children have reached a place of safety.
Penalties if convicted of violating Pennsylvania’s School Bus Law:
- $250 fine
- Five points on your driving record
- 60-day driver’s license suspension
- Possibly impact auto insurance premium/rate
NOTE: Some of the violations we investigated were due to motorists being uncertain since there were multiple lanes in each direction. The law requires motorists to stop even on multi-lane roadways unless there is a physical barrier.
Additionally, speeding in School Zones and along secondary roads during school transports has been noticed. Please remember that violating the school zone speed limit also has significant consequences—the speed limit in the school zone is 15 mph.
As always, if you need clarification or have a question, comment, concern—please reach out to us. Stay well, stay safe.