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Bus passing bill close to final approval

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Bus passing bill close to final approval
By Jeff Jenkins | WV MetroNews

Drivers caught illegally passing a school bus loading or unloading kids would initially spend 24-hours in jail in a bill that passed the House of Delegates Friday.

The bill (SB 13) will be on its way to the governor for consideration if the Senate agrees to the changes the House made to its bill.

House Judiciary Committee Chair Patrick Lane (R-Kanawha) explained the 24-hour jail provision to House members Friday.

“The committee felt that as public policy we should certainly enforce with people that this is a crime that we do not wish to see them commit again and 24 hours would be a good reminder of that,” Lane said.

Conviction of the crime carries a sentence of 2 days to 6 months. There are separate sentences for repeat offenders.

The bill also would allow police to charge the owner of the vehicle. Currently, police can only charge those who are able to be identified by face recognition.

A survey taken by a national organization in West Virginia on April 28, 2015 showed nearly 400 drivers illegally passed school buses during that one day.