Friday, March 25, 2016

West Virginia to stiffen penalties for passing school buses

(AP) — West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has approved increased penalties for passing stopped school buses.

Tomblin signed the bill Thursday.

On a first offense, drivers passing a school bus that stopped to pick up or drop off students could be guilty of a misdemeanor, fined $250 to $500, imprisoned up to six months and could lose their licenses 30 days.

On a second offense, it increases to $500 to $1,000 in fines and 90 days' license suspension. A third will warrant a $1,000 fine, from two days to six months in jail and 180 days of license suspension.

If someone is hurt or killed, willfully breaking the law would be a felony and guaranteed prison time of one to 10 years, plus stiffer fines.

The law takes effect in June.