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House Unanimously Backs Harsher Penalties For Drivers Who Pass School Buses

By Brandon Smith, IPB News | Published on in Crime, Education, Government, Statewide News
Monroe County Schools Corporation school bus. (WFIU/WTIU)
Monroe County Schools Corporation school bus. (WFIU/WTIU)

House lawmakers unanimously approved legislation Monday that creates harsher penalties for drivers who illegally pass school buses.

The bill responds to an incident in Rochester, Indiana, last year in which three children were killed.

Rep. Ethan Manning (R-Denver) says the measure increases the penalties for all crimes or infractions when a driver passes a bus that has its stop arm out.

“In addition to the normal penalties for these crimes, the court may suspend a license for 90 days for a first offense or suspend for one year for two or more offenses,” Manning says.

The bill now goes back to the Senate, which can agree to changes made by the House or take the bill to a conference committee.

Some lawmakers expressed frustration at those changes, which they say scaled back some of the harsher penalties.