Associated Press Published

West Virginia to Stiffen Penalties for Passing School Buses


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.