Pass School Bus, Pay $450 Fine

Oct 4, 2017

Credit Dave DeWitt / WUNC

Wake County Commissioners unanimously supported a plan to create a civil penalty for drivers who illegally pass a stopped school bus.

The North Carolina Highway Patrol says 3,100 vehicles pass stopped school buses daily, as students climb on and off.

"Nothing infuriates us more than to have a school bus passed needlessly by drivers who are putting our greatest asset at risk," said Sig Hutchinson chairman of the Wake County Commissioners.

The North Carolina General Assembly allows counties to levy civil fines of more than $450 for illegally passing a school bus.

Wake Commissioner Greg Ford was a long-time teacher and administrator in Wake County Public Schools. He says several North Carolina children have already died this year because drivers illegally passed a stopped school bus.

"That's a tragedy we're hoping this can prevent," he said. "It's a deterrent, certainly. It's a civil action on top of the criminal penalty that's already in place."