Recently, the Shoshone News Press published an article, “Fines rise for drivers ignoring school bus stop signs,” that states penalties for drivers who ignore school bus stop signs will increase from $100 to 200. The fine would increase to $600 for the third offense.
It should be noted, that school buses are equipped with flashing lights and stop signs that are extended when children are loading or unloading. These lights are not easy to ignore. A driver that passes a school bus with lights on and stop signs out, does so with complete disregard for the safety of the most precious cargo, our children.
I believe this minor increase in the fine from $100 to $200 only enables the violators. This is not enough of a penalty to stop these drivers. I believe the penalty for passing a school bus should be $500-$1000 and possible loss of license up to one year. If they reoffend the fines should triple, their license should be lost for 2 years and should face the possibility of jail time.
These violators endanger our kids lives. Children are often injured or killed by these drivers. This is unacceptable. If the penalties are severe enough, it will serve as a deterrent and stop many of the violators. With such stiff fines and penalties, school districts would be able to install cameras on every bus to assist law enforcement in identifying drivers that pass school buses. We must never lose site of the fact that these children are our future and deserve to be protected.