Va. Lawmakers Working to Improve School Bus Safety

Posted: Updated:

Virginia lawmakers are working together to craft a bill that would allow police to mail tickets to drivers who illegally pass school buses.

In the commonwealth, it's illegal to go around a stopped school bus when it is letting people on or off. Currently, it is up to the bus driver to report the incident, and then police hand-deliver a ticket.

"We could not hold the violators accountable because it was too costly and too complicated to physically serve a summons," said 31st District Senator Barbara Favola.

The Virginia House of Delegates and state Senate have both passed bills this General Assembly session that would allow tickets to be mailed instead.

The chambers are working out differences between the two versions of the bill. Supporters of the bill say it's dangerous when drivers ignore the warning signs and go around stopped buses. They believe using cameras is the safest way to catch and deter those who break the rule.

Supporters also hope if the legislation gets to Governor Terry McAuliffe, then school districts around Virginia can put already installed cameras to good use: the cameras would automatically snap a picture of the license plate and capture the date and time of the offense.

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