Governors in Idaho and West Virginia recently signed bills into law that will increase fines for motorists who illegally pass stopped school buses.
In Idaho, Gov. Brad Little signed House Bill 1131 into law on March 27 to raise the fee for passing a school bus with its lights flashing and stop arm deployed from $100 to $200. Passing a school bus a second time will cost a motorist $400 within five years of a prior offense, and a third violation will be a fine of $600 within five years of two previous offenses.
The legislation also states that any revenue generated from fines over $100 will be directed into a fund created in the state treasury to install cameras on school buses as a way to help law enforcement catch and identify offending motorists.
The law is expected to take effect on July 1, 2019, according to the state legislature’s website.
Meanwhile, in West Virginia, Gov. Jim Justice also signed legislation that will increase penalties for passing a stopped school bus, as well as require exterior cameras on all school buses purchased on or after July 1, 2019.
As SBF previously reported, Senate Bill 238, signed into law by Justice on March 25, doubles the fine for stop-arm violators from $250 to a minimum of $500 and maximum of $1,000, with a 60-day license suspension and the possibility of six months of jail time. A second offense will cost an offending motorist at least $1,000 and no more than $1,500, also with a potential of six months in jail but will also include a 180-day license suspension. Passing a stopped school bus a third time will earn the violator a fine of $2,000, loss of their license for one year, and at least 48 hours in jail but no more than six months of jail time.
Moreover, if the violation causes serious bodily injury, the motorist will face a felony charge and one to three years in prison, along with a minimum fine of $2,000 and a maximum of $5,000. If the violation causes a death, the charge becomes a felony and if convicted, the motorist will spend between one and 10 years in prison, and will be fined a minimum of $5,000 and a maximum of $10,000.
The law is expected to take effect on June 5, 2019, according to the state legislature’s website.