Chesterton Tribune



Burns Harbor Police crack down on school bus passing

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Burns Harbor Councilman and liaison to the Police Department Nick Loving reported the BHPD has started increased patrols from 6:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in light of the horrific bus accident in Rochester, Ind. where three siblings were killed by a motorist passing a stopped school bus.

“Essentially they’re watching the school buses,” Loving said.

The result? Police Chief Mike Heckman said between Oct. 31 and Nov. 13, BHPD officers increased patrols in the areas of U.S. Hwy 20, South Babcock Road, Old Porter Road, Haglund Road, and Burns Blvd. They gave out 40 warnings and wrote 28 citations--six of which were for illegally passing a bus--and made six arrests.

““One guy we stopped tonight actually said, ‘Well, you got me.’ That was his excuse,” Heckman said. Heckman also noted that someone has been found driving in an unsafe manner on every road with increased patrols.

According to Heckman, the fine for passing a school bus can be upwards of $10,000, and if that doesn’t dissuade drivers enough, they should know that Burns Harbor won’t stand for it.

Councilwoman Toni Biancardi made a reminder that 20 is not a divided highway, and when a bus stops there, all lanes are required by law to stop--not just the lanes traveling the same direction as the bus. Council Vice-president Eric Hull added that he has seen people disregard that rule before.

Heckman said, “As much as its been in the news and on Facebook, there’s not a person out there that shouldn’t know.”

Snow Parking Ban

The Council amended the text of its recently passed snow parking ban ordinance, ordinance 287-2018. The ordinance states that no parking is allowed on public streets when snowfall exceeds two inches to allow for plowing.

That hasn’t changed, but the version passed earlier this year included hours during the night where it was acceptable to park a vehicle on a public street. Several officials pointed out that this creates a problem if the snow starts at night and the plows need to go out before cars have been moved.

Biancardi reported that she would post the new text of the ordinance on the Town’s website immediately to avoid confusion.

Residents should be aware that plows may go out at any time and vehicles cannot be parked on a public street, at any time, when snow exceeds two inches. The BHPD does have the right to tow a vehicle that is not moved upon request.

Fire Department

Fire Chief Bill Arney thanked all who supported the BHFD at the annual spaghetti dinner Oct. 20. Proceeds of the dinner go toward Burns Harbor firefighters attending a burn camp and the shop with a firefighter program.

Arney also gave an update on the Town’s new fire engine, which is currently being built. Arney said he has been following the progress of the build online and it is scheduled for a pre-paint inspection next month, with a final inspection expected in January. The Town is paying cash for the engine in February to save approximately $200,000 in interest over the life of a loan.


Posted 11/16/2018




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