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Introduced Version House Bill 4485 History

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hb4485 intr
H. B. 4485


(By Delegates Sobonya, Butcher, Eldridge,

C. Miller, Miley, Fleischauer, Shook, Sumner,

Lane, Stowers and Rodighiero)

[Introduced February 12, 2010 ; referred to the

Committee on the Judiciary then Finance.]



A BILL to amend and reenact §17C-12-7 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to increasing the penalties for overtaking and passing a school bus stopped for the purpose of receiving and discharging children.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §17C-12-7 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 12. SPECIAL STOPS REQUIRED.

§17C-12-7. Overtaking and passing school bus; penalties; signs and warning lights upon buses; removal of warning lights, lettering, etc., upon sale of buses; highways with separate roadways; limitation on idling.

(a) The driver of a vehicle, upon meeting or overtaking from either direction any school bus which has stopped for the purpose of receiving or discharging any school children, shall stop the vehicle before reaching the school bus when there is in operation on the school bus flashing warning signal lights, as referred to in section eight of this article, and the driver shall may not proceed until the school bus resumes motion, or is signaled by the school bus driver to proceed or the visual signals are no longer actuated. This section applies wherever the school bus is receiving or discharging children including, but not limited to, any street, highway, parking lot, private road or driveway: Provided, That the driver of a vehicle upon a controlled access highway need not stop upon meeting or passing a school bus which is on a different roadway or adjacent to the highway and where pedestrians are not permitted to cross the roadway.
(b) Any identified driver acting in violation of this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction for a first offense, shall be fined not less than fifty dollars $150 or more than two hundred dollars $500, or imprisoned confined in the county jail not more than six months, or both fined and imprisoned confined. Additionally, the driver's license of a driver convicted of this offense for the first time may be suspended for a period of thirty days. Upon conviction of a second offense of this subsection, the driver shall be fined $500, or confined in jail not more than six months, or both fined and confined. Additionally, the driver's license of a driver convicted of this offense for the second time may be suspended for a period of ninety days. Upon conviction of a third or subsequent offense of this subsection, the driver shall be fined $500, and confined not less than twenty-four hours in jail but not more than six months. Additionally, the driver's license of a driver convicted of this offense for the third time may be suspended for a period of six months.
(c) When the identified driver of a vehicle willfully, wantonly, or with reckless disregard violates the provisions of subsection (a) of this section and the violation causes serious bodily injury to any person other than the driver, he or she is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned in a state correctional facility not less than one year nor more than three years and
fined not less than $500 nor more than $2,000 .
(d) When the identified driver of a vehicle willfully, wantonly or with reckless disregard violates the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, and the violation causes death, he or she is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned in a state correctional facility
not less than one year and no more than ten years and fined not less than $1,000 nor more than $3,000.
(e)
If the identity of the driver cannot be ascertained, then any owner or lessee of the vehicle in violation of this subsection, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction and is found to be the owner or lessee of the automobile shall be fined subject to a civil penalty of not less than twenty-five dollars $150 nor more than one hundred dollars $500. Any person found to be the owner or lessee a vehicle who is in violation of this sections a second or subsequent time under this subsection is subject to a civil penalty of $500. The conviction shall assessment of the civil penalty does not subject the owner or lessee to further administrative or other penalties for the offense, notwithstanding other provisions of this code to the contrary.
(b) (f) Every bus used for the transportation of school children shall bear upon the front and rear of the bus a plainly visible sign containing the words "school bus" in letters not less than eight inches in height. When a contract school bus is being operated upon a highway for purposes other than the actual transportation of children either to or from school, all markings on the contract school bus indicating "school bus" shall be covered or concealed. Any school bus sold or transferred to another owner by a county board of education, agency or individual shall have all flashing warning lights disconnected and all lettering removed or permanently obscured, except when sold or transferred for the transportation of school children.
(g) Every school district is authorized to mount a camera on any retractable stop sign that is part of the equipment of any school bus.
(h) To the extent that state, federal or other funds are available, the State Police shall conduct an information campaign to educate drivers concerning the provisions of this section and the importance of school bus safety.
(c) (i) The State Board of Education shall write a policy governing the idling of school buses.



NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to increase the fine for overtaking and passing a school bus stopped for the purpose of receiving or discharging children.
The changes in this bill could be referred to as "Haven's Law".

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.
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