We have been blogging a lot lately on states introducing harsher laws and penalties on illegal school bus passing. South Carolina has joined in making changes.
A lawmaker in Columbia has prefiled a bill that would considerably raise penalties for illegally passing school buses and would allow the state to overrule decisions made on the locations of some school bus stops.
H4696 is sponsored by South Carolina Rep. Lin Bennett, Rep. Converse A. Chellis, Rep. Bill Taylor, Rep. R. Raye Felder, and Rep. Sylleste H. Davis. It proposes raising the penalty for running a stop arm the first time to $1,000 (up from $500) and adding a 30-day license suspension or 10 days of community service, and increases the penalty for the second offense to between $5,000 and $10,000 (up from $2,000) and includes six months to a year in jail.
The bill also calls for giving the state superintendent of education the discretion to overrule a school district's decision regarding placement of a school bus stop if the superintendent determines it to be "dangerous."
Bennett, who prefiled the bill on Nov. 20, said that the goal of the bill is “to get people to realize how dangerous this is … If you can’t do something as simple as stopping for a stopped school bus, you need to pay for that and you don’t need to be driving.”
The bill was also referred to the Committee on Education and Public Works on Nov. 20.
South Carolina has joined many other states in proposing laws to raise penalties on illegal school bus passings.