Petition demands severe penalties for drivers who violate school bus stop lights, signs

school bus stop.jpg
Posted at 6:50 PM, Nov 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-12 13:51:20-05

(WTXL) - A petition on is calling on Congress to sign legislation that will make violating red lights and stop signs on a school bus a federal crime punishable by jail time and a $5,000 fine on the first offense.

The petition is calling for penalties such as 30 days in jail, 90 day driver's license suspension, 12 points on the offender's license and a mandatory minimum fine of $5,000 for the first offense.

The petition on is attempting to gather 100,000 signatures. As of Monday afternoon, it's gathered over 3,000.

The full petition reads:

"Children are being injured or killed due to people running the alternating reds on school busses. individual state laws are largely ineffective and typically have no significant penalty.

We call upon our President and Congress to act by signing legislation that will keep our children safe by instituting severe penalties on ppl who choose to violate the red lights on a bus such as 30 days in jail, 90 day dl suspension, 12 points on license and a mandatory minimum fine of $5000.00 for the first offense.

This is the least we the American voters will accept."

If the petition manages to garner 100,000 signatures by Nov. 30, the White House will respond to the petition within 60 days.

The petition comes after several children were injured or killed school transportation related in crashes nationwide

Locally, our area has also seen a spike in school transportation related crashes.

The petition was posted on Oct. 31, the same day a 5-year-old child was hit by a car while waiting to get on a Leon County School bus. A few days earlier in Colquitt County, two brothers were hit by a car while walking a school bus. One of the children, 10-year-old Noah Palmer, later died from his injuries.

The crashes extend across the state of Florida as well. On Nov. 1, three children and two adults were hit by a car in Tampa while waiting at a school bus stop.

Statistics from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, show more than 1,300 people died in school transportation-related crashes between 2006 and 2015.

Of those, 102 school-age pedestrians (18 and younger) were killed in school-transportation related crashes. The data indicates that 61 percent of those children were killed after getting hit by school buses while 36 percent were killed by other vehicles.