School bus campaign could SAVE lives - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

School bus campaign could SAVE lives

Posted: Updated:

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The Stop Arm Violation Education and Enforcement Campaign, or SAVE, made its way to Myrtle Beach.

Lawmakers want to make changes to the bus stop sign arm law. It's already illegal to run a stopped bus' stop sign, but police have to see the crime take place in order to prosecute any offenders.

Senate Bill 718 would amend the law so that the owner of the vehicle could be found guilty of a civil penalty for overtaking a stopped bus if the violation is captured on that bus' surveillance cameras.

"The owner of the vehicle as the bill is proposed could then bring the driver in and that person would have to pay the fine," says David Poag, Transportation Administrator in Anderson County and the brains behind Senate Bill 718.

Poag reached out to Senator Thomas Alexander last spring to try and get the bill made into law. Wednesday, Poag discussed the SAVE Campaign with dozens of transportation officials and some lawmakers during the South Carolina Association for Pupil Transportation convention in Myrtle Beach.

If the bill is passed it would be a $100 fine for the first offense, $200 for a second offense and $1,000 for each subsequent offense in a five year period.

Horry County School officials think it's a good idea. Their transportation director says drivers put children at risk everyday during the school year.

"You probably have one a day in Horry County," says Jim Wright.

It's a reason Wright teams up with the SC Highway Patrol every school year and sometimes puts patrolmen on board school busses to catch the crime in action.

"Those five minutes you are going to save are not worth the life of a child," says Wright.

Poag says research shows that in the past 40 years there have been 40 deaths in the Palmetto State as the result of people overtaking stopped buses with their stop sign arms out.

"That's one per year and that's too many," says Poag.

If the bill becomes law, it would take effect until the 2014 school year.

Copyright 2013 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow

918 Frontage Road East
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
(843) 839-9623
news@wmbfnews.com

FCC Public File
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WMBF. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.