MAX STRONG bill aimed at school bus safety now law in Indiana
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The M.A.X. Strong bill is now law Indiana.
The bill is aimed at better strengthening school bus safety laws and the legislation is named in honor of the three children killed at their Fulton County bus stop last fall, Mason, Alivia, and Xzavier.
Since the tragedy, their family has been pushing to strengthen bus safety laws. Now, 6 months later, they’re hoping this law will help keep other Hoosier children safe.
The changes will go into effect on July 1.
Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb said signing the bill today was the first step towards change.
“We need more awareness every day on this very topic. This is progress,” Holcomb said.
The bill has seen many changes since its first draft in January but Senator Randy Head, who authored the M.A.X. Strong bill, agrees that this is progress.
“I think it’s going to make a difference,” Head said. “The last survey we took, there were over 2,000 violations of stopped school buses in the state of Indiana. Everybody needs to be more patient, we’ve seen the very worst that can happen.”
With the new law, the family of Mason, Alivia and Xzavier are hopeful this will help keep other children safe including their surviving sibling Selena Stahl.
“I’m just happy that my siblings are making a change to the world so people don’t have to live what we’re living right now,” Stahl said.
The max strong law is designed to keep children safe at their bus stops in several different ways.
It promotes same side pickups and drops off to prevent children from having to cross high speed roads or highways. It increases penalties for violators caught ignoring a stopped school bus. It allows schools to petition for funding to pay for stop arm cameras and getting an Indiana driver’s license, will require more awareness about school bus safety laws.
“They’re in the front of saving other children’s lives,” Brittany Ingle, the mother of Mason, Alivia, and Xzavier. “We went through the worst tragedy ever and the unimaginable is apparent and here we are having a law in their name it’s an honor.”
The family is still heartbroken but they said this helps makes things easier that their three little ones will forever be remembered for making a difference.
“[I’m leaving here feeling] invincible,” Ingle said. “It makes us feel like the walls are all coming down and we can do more.”