Tougher Penalty OK'd On Motorists Passing NC Buses

North Carolina motorists could soon face a tougher penalty if the driver passes a stopped school bus on the road and strikes a passenger who dies after getting off the vehicle.

A Senate judiciary committee approved Tuesday a measure designed to let school districts use cameras and recording devices to collect evidence designed to prove that someone broke the law passing a stopped school bus.

The committee approved the bill and an amendment making a motorist guilty of a felony for striking a passenger who dies. The offender could now receive active jail time if the discharged passenger dies. The current law allows for community service as a punishment and doesn't differentiate if the passenger is killed.

The measure now goes to the Senate Appropriations Committee.


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  • by tod Location: 7 springs on May 27, 2009 at 12:16 PM
    money for cameras/recorders? how about seat belts? The kids would be safer AND in their seats, so less of the horseplay , hanky panky etc that goes on. In NC I , as a 30 something with no driving infractions for 20 years, have to wear a seatbelt and a helmet on my bike, and have flotation devices on my boat, but thousands of kids ride school buses daily without seatbelts
  • by lm Location: nc on May 27, 2009 at 10:35 AM
    I have to agree with a lot of comments regarding bad bus drivers. My children's bus driver drives off while children are walking to their seats. It doesn't matter that parents call the bus depot at all, they still keep driving crazy. They should all be fired...
  • by Cindi Location: Simpson on May 27, 2009 at 10:15 AM
    BOY,here are our tax dollars working really hard for us! Do we not have bigger fish to fry?
  • by Sam Location: Willliamston on May 27, 2009 at 07:27 AM
    I have a much better solution than that. How about consolidate the bus rides to where the buses don't stop more than once within the same one mile range. Less likely someone will get hurt and ran over. There will not be as much waste of gas among the school buses and the motorists, meaning less money is spent. Also, the school bus drivers need to pull in someone's driveway or at least out of the way of the motorists so that the motorists can get to and from work or whereever else in addition to not having as much gas wasted, two ways to cut costs there. I don't have a problem with buses in general, but I have a serious problem with how the school bus systems are being ran. This government needs to come up with ways that are not so senseless.
  • by Bud Location: Washington on May 27, 2009 at 06:58 AM
    Just take a look at the people driving the buses.
  • by Alayana Location: washington on May 27, 2009 at 04:09 AM
    THe bus drivers for beaufort county schools are awful, at least the one that I'm thinking of. There is one bus, bus 171, that frequntly slams on brakes, hops curbs, and turns to sharp.
  • by Greg Location: Greenville on May 27, 2009 at 04:05 AM
    I think there should be tougher penalties for the actual bus drivers. Everyday that I drive home, I see atleast 4 buses speeding, 2 that never stop at a certain stop sign that is at the railroad tracks on 14th street. I also see buses that drive 1/2 a mile down the road with the caution lights on before they actually put the sign out. I know in some states the buses are not allowed to let kids off that have to cross the street, they have to go turn around and drop them off on the other side of the street and they have not had any accidents since making this rule so maybe NC should look at that kind of rule.
  • by AL Location: Greene Co on May 26, 2009 at 11:16 PM
    To Mr T in La; You said a mouth full there my friend.I saw a bus driver wait till a car was on top of it to throw the yellow lights and then pull the red as fast as she could . The car passed it as soon as the red and stop sign popped out . The driver could not stop in time and she went and called the sheriff. I followed the car and called the sheriff and told them where the car was and they stopped the car. I told the sheriffs what happened . I saved the guy from getting a huge ticket that was not his fault. I think the bus drivers should go back to being Teenagers. It was safer then than it is now. Seems the teens drover more cautiously and paid closer attention than the older people. Reflexes are better in the younger ones. I only think of 2 bus wrecks in my whole 13 years of going to school the worst one being out side of Snow Hill in 1985 when the kids were killed and it was not the bus drivers fault. The other one I think was when I was a younger boy and it was a minor accident.
  • by MrT Location: LaNC on May 26, 2009 at 06:49 PM
    School buses are a royal pain in the rear. I despise them, and wish they were taken off the road.Not to mention some of the idiot bus drivers that wait until you are right at the bus to throw their little stop sign out.
  • by MrT Location: LaNC on May 26, 2009 at 06:42 PM
    School buses are a royal pain in the rear. I despise them, and wish they were taken off the road.Not to mention some of the idiot bus drivers that wait until you are right at the bus to throw their little stop sign out.
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