NC Bill Would Toughen Penalties For Drivers Who Don't Stop For School Buses

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- North Carolina lawmakers want to increase the consequences for drivers who fail to stop for school buses picking up or dropping off students.

The bill approved unanimously Tuesday by the House would require those convicted of the misdemeanor charge to receive a minimum $500 fine. A driver who hits a child and faces a felony would receive a minimum $2,500 fine, while a death conviction would mean at least $5,000.

The measure also requires motorists convicted of repeat violations to have their driver's licenses revoked for at least one year and possibly permanently in the most egregious circumstances. These drivers could get limited driving privileges.

Bill sponsor Rep. Ed Hanes of Winston-Salem says the measure shows legislators are serious about ending driver negligence. The bill now goes to the Senate.