The governor of West Virginia signed legislation that increases penalties for illegally passing a school bus. It also allows for the owner of the vehicle to be charged even if the driver can’t be identified.

The governor of West Virginia signed legislation that increases penalties for illegally passing a school bus. It also allows for the owner of the vehicle to be charged even if the driver can’t be identified.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Legislation aimed at strengthening school bus stop-arm enforcement in West Virginia has been signed into law.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin approved the legislation, Senate Bill 13, on Thursday.

The bill, which goes into effect 90 days after passage, increases some of the penalties for illegal passing a school bus. The new penalties are:

• First offense — fine of $250 to $500 and/or up to six months in jail, plus 30 days of license suspension
• Second offense — fine of $500 to $1,000 and/or up to six months in jail, plus 90 days of license suspension
• Third or subsequent offense — fine of up to $1,000 and two days to six months in jail, plus 180 days of license suspension

Also, for cases in which the driver of a violating vehicle can’t be identified but the license plate number is known, the newly passed bill allows for the owner of the vehicle to be charged.

Last year, a survey that involved 2,415 West Virginia school buses tallied 392 stop-arm violations in one day.

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