Columbus Area Officials Say School Bus Laws Often Ignored by Impatient Motorists

Monday, October 8, 2012

The penalties for ignoring that small stop sign extended from a school bus have drastically increased in Nebraska, but local officials say drivers continue to ignore the safety measure.

A change to the state law approved by the Legislature during its last session now makes passing a stopped school bus that is loading or unloading children a Class IV misdemeanor, punishable by up to a $500 fine and three-point deduction from a violator's driver's license.

The change, which became effective July 19, requires motorists approaching a bus from either the front or rear to remain stopped until the flashing red signal lights are turned off, stop sign is retracted and the bus begins to move.

Despite the harsher penalties, representatives from Columbus Public Schools and Central Nebraska Community Services say motorists continue to drive around their buses all too often, which creates an unsafe environment for dozens of children transported each day.

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