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Parents hope proposed bill will help improve school bus safety

Posted at 12:01 AM, Mar 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-03 00:01:47-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- State lawmakers are trying to make it easier to punish those who pass stopped school buses by mailing summons instead of delivering them in person.

Parent Kareen Harris said she used to constantly seeing cars pass stopped school buses at her son's old bus stop in Henrico County.

"When I first saw it, it literally made me feel scary," said Harris.

Kareen Harris and son

Kareen Harris and son

Harris said she's happy to hear that lawmakers are working on a bill that would allow police to mail tickets to drivers who illegally pass school buses.

"It's wonderful," said Harris, "at least it will have them realize that this is no joking matter."

Right now, it is illegal to go around a school bus while it's stopped, but it's up to the bus driver to report the incident and the police hand-deliver a ticket.

On her Facebook page, Sen. Barbara Favola said the new plan would be a more efficient approach that reduces costs with an in-person delivery and improves safety.

As a parent, Harris hopes this sends a message to drivers about how important it is to stop.

"This is not a playing matter, we are not playing about kid's safety," she said.

The Virginia House and State Senate have both passed bills this General Assembly session that would allow tickets to be mailed. The chambers are currently working out differences between the two versions of the bill.