WASHINGTON, D.C. — A petition submitted to the White House is seeking tougher penalties on motorists who illegally pass stopped school buses.
The petition, "Make bus stop safety a federal law," calls for penalties such as jail time, a 90-day driver’s license suspension, 12 penalty points on a driver’s license, and a mandatory minimum fine of $5,000 for the first offense. The petition must receive a total of 100,000 signatures by Nov. 30 to receive a response from the White House within 60 days.
The petition was created on Oct. 31. It follows a number of recent illegal stop-arm running incidents, including the fatal Indiana crash on Oct. 30 that killed three students and injured another as they were crossing a road to board their school bus.
A one-day survey conducted earlier this year by the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS) found that more than 80,000 motorists ran school bus stop arms in a single day. The numbers, according to NASDPTS, pointed to more than 15 million violations across the U.S. throughout a 180-day school year, and have brought attention to the need for more safety measures against stop-arm running.
To access the petition, go here.