@NCCapitol

@NCCapitol

Bill would take licenses away from drivers who pass stopped school buses

Posted February 21, 2013

— Drivers who pass a stopped school bus would automatically lose their licenses for at least 30 days and up to two years under a bill that cleared the Senate Judiciary 2 Committee Thursday morning. 

It is already illegal to pass a stopped school bus that has its stop-arm out. However, drivers who commit such a violation under current law aren't automatically suspended. 

An earlier version of the bill would have required a six-month suspension for first-time offenders who didn't hurt anyone. The version of the bill that passed committee dropped that to 30 days for a first offense if nobody was hit. 

Sen. Floyd McKissick, D-Durham, said it was appropriate to give first-time offenders a break.

"After that first mistake, they ought to learn the lesson," McKissick said. 

The bill requires a year-long suspension if the driver hits somebody and a two-year-long suspension if the person hit dies as a result.

As the committee was hearing the bill, the State Highway Patrol reported that a child was hit in Nash County when a driver passed a stopped school bus on N.C. Highway 58 in Castalia.

Committee members discussed other measures the state may need to make school buses safer, including equipping them with cameras to catch violators and posting signs on the back that tell drivers they could lose their licenses for passing a stopped bus.



7 Comments

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  • GravyPig Feb 21, 2013

    Pass it, the bill that is. Pass the bill.

  • Nancy Feb 21, 2013

    "But make school bus stops a quarter mile apart or more. There's no need for a stop every 50 feet on a main road, especially when we have a childhood obesity epidemic."

    Except there are safety concerns on roads with 45 mph and higher speeds that children can't walk along such a busy road to gather at a single location like they can in subdivisions.

    And then there are stops where children are on the driver side of the road and must cross a busy road.

  • markjb33 Feb 21, 2013

    First, on a busy street/state HWY, have the school buses pull off on to a side road. Second, send bus drivers to bus driving school(they are some of the most horrible drivers). 3, TEACH children to look both ways, always.

  • NiceNSmooth Feb 21, 2013

    Also require them to pull off the road every mile or so to let the hge line of cars behind them to pass.

    How about leaving a little earlier so you wont be in such a rush

  • Pseudonym Feb 21, 2013

    Fine. But make school bus stops a quarter mile apart or more. There's no need for a stop every 50 feet on a main road, especially when we have a childhood obesity epidemic.

    Also require them to pull off the road every mile or so to let the hge line of cars behind them to pass.

  • birkie74693 Feb 21, 2013

    I think this law is a good idea. Over the years, I've seen a LOT of Raleigh-area people either driving way too fast in school zones or passing stopped buses that were loading or unloading children. How could anyone live with himself if he killed a child because he was selfish and in a hurry?

  • Ipromiseitwonthurt Feb 21, 2013

    School busses should extend their exhaust pipes out the top of the vehicle, so the people waiting behind the bus don't have to choke and gag on their fumes.