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Introduced Version House Bill 4489 History

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Key: Green = existing Code. Red = new code to be enacted
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H. B. 4489


(By Delegates Sobonya, Miley, Eldridge,

M. Poling, Shook, C. Miller, Sumner,

Stowers, Fleischauer and Rodighiero)


[Introduced February 15, 2010; referred to the

Committee on the Judiciary then Finance.]



A BILL to amend and reenact §17C-12-7 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; and to and reenact §60A-4-406 of said code, all relating to increasing the criminal penalties for overtaking or passing a school bus stopped for the purpose of receiving and discharging children; authorizing an educational campaign on school bus safety; and increasing penalties for persons convicted of distributing drugs in a school bus stop zone.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §17C-12-7 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted; that §60A-4-406 of said code be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
CHAPTER 17C. TRAFFIC REGULATIONS AND LAWS OF THE ROAD.

ARTICLE 12. SPECIAL STOPS REQUIRED.

§17C-12-7. Overtaking and passing school bus; penalties; signs and warning lights upon buses; removal of warning lights, lettering, etc., upon sale of buses; highways with separate roadways; limitation on idling.

(a) The driver of a vehicle, upon meeting or overtaking from either direction any school bus which has stopped for the purpose of receiving or discharging any school children, shall stop the vehicle before reaching the school bus when there is in operation on the school bus flashing warning signal lights, as referred to in section eight of this article, and the driver shall not proceed until the school bus resumes motion, or is signaled by the school bus driver to proceed or the visual signals are no longer actuated. This section applies wherever the school bus is receiving or discharging children including, but not limited to, any street, highway, parking lot, private road or driveway: Provided, That the driver of a vehicle upon a controlled access highway need not stop upon meeting or passing a school bus which is on a different roadway or adjacent to the highway and where pedestrians are not permitted to cross the roadway.
(b) Any identified driver acting in violation of this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction for a first offense, shall be fined not less than fifty dollars $150 or more than two hundred dollars $500, or imprisoned confined in the county jail not more than six months, or both fined and imprisoned confined. Additionally, the driver's license of a driver convicted of this offense for the first time may be suspended for a period of thirty days. Upon conviction of a second offense of this subsection, the driver shall be fined $500, or confined in jail not more than six months, or both fined and confined. Additionally, the driver's license of a driver convicted of this offense for the second time may be suspended for a period of ninety days. Upon conviction of a third or subsequent offense of this subsection, the driver shall be fined $500, and confined not less than twenty-four hours in jail but not more than six months. Additionally, the driver's license of a driver convicted of this offense for the third time may be suspended for a period of six months.
(c) When the identified driver of a vehicle willfully, wantonly, or with reckless disregard violates the provisions of subsection (a) of this section and the violation causes serious bodily injury to any person other than the driver, he or she is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, shall be confined not less than one year and not more than three years and shall be fined not less than $500 and not more than $2,000.
(d) When the identified driver of a vehicle willfully, wantonly or with reckless disregard violates the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, and the violation causes death, he or she is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, shall be confined not less than one year and no more than ten years and shall be fined not less than $1,000 and not more than $3,000.
(e)
If the identity of the driver cannot be ascertained, then any owner or lessee of the vehicle in violation of this subsection, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction and is found to be the owner or lessee of the automobile shall be fined subject to a civil penalty of not less than twenty-five dollars $150 nor more than one hundred dollars $500. Any person found to be the owner or lessee a vehicle who is in violation of this sections a second or subsequent time under this subsection shall be subject to a civil penalty of $500. The conviction shall assessment of the civil penalty does not subject the owner or lessee to further administrative or other penalties for the offense, notwithstanding other provisions of this code to the contrary.
(b) (f) Every bus used for the transportation of school children shall bear upon the front and rear of the bus a plainly visible sign containing the words "school bus" in letters not less than eight inches in height. When a contract school bus is being operated upon a highway for purposes other than the actual transportation of children either to or from school, all markings on the contract school bus indicating "school bus" shall be covered or concealed. Any school bus sold or transferred to another owner by a county board of education, agency or individual shall have all flashing warning lights disconnected and all lettering removed or permanently obscured, except when sold or transferred for the transportation of school children.
(g) Every school district is authorized to mount a camera on any retractable stop sign that is part of the equipment of any school bus.
(h) To the extent that state, federal or other funds are available, the State Police shall conduct an information campaign to educate drivers concerning the provisions of this article and the importance of school bus safety.
(c) (i) The State Board of Education shall write a policy governing the idling of school buses.
CHAPTER 60A. UNIFORM CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES ACT.

ARTICLE 4. OFFENSES AND PENALTIES.
§60A-4-406. Distribution to persons under the age of eighteen years by persons over the age of twenty-one years; distribution by persons eighteen years of age or over in or on, or within one thousand feet of, school or college or within one hundred feet of students awaiting, boarding or exiting a school bus; increasing mandatory period of incarceration prior to parole eligibility.

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, a person is ineligible for parole for a period of three years if he or she is sentenced to the custody of the commissioner of corrections for service of a sentence of incarceration and is convicted of a felony violation under the provisions of subdivision (i), subsection (a), section four hundred one of this article for distribution of a controlled substance and:
(1) Is twenty-one years of age or older at the time of the distribution upon which the conviction is based, and the person to whom the controlled substance was distributed was under the age of eighteen years at the time of the distribution; or
(2) Is eighteen years of age or older and the distribution upon which the conviction is based occurred in or on, or within one thousand feet of, the real property comprising a public or private elementary, vocational or secondary school or a public or private college, junior college or university in this state, or within the first one hundred feet within the view of students awaiting, boarding or exiting a school bus, excluding the interior of all buildings except school bus stop shelters
for purposes of this subsection, "school bus" means a commercial motor vehicle used to transport preprimary, primary or secondary school students from home-to-school, from school-to-home or to and from school sponsored events. School bus does not include a bus used as a common carrier.
(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, a person is ineligible for parole for a period of two years if he or she is sentenced to the custody of the commissioner of corrections for service of a sentence of incarceration and is convicted of a felony violation under the provisions of subdivision (ii), subsection (a), section four hundred one of this article for distribution of a controlled substance and:
(1) Is twenty-one years of age or older at the time of the distribution upon which the conviction is based, and the person to whom the controlled substance was distributed was under the age of eighteen years at the time of the distribution; or
(2) Is eighteen years of age or older and the distribution upon which the conviction is based occurred in or on, or within one thousand feet of, the real property comprising a public or private elementary, vocational or secondary school or a public or private college, junior college or university in this state, or within the first one hundred feet within the view of students awaiting, boarding or exiting a school bus, excluding the interior of all buildings except school bus stop shelters
. For purposes of this subsection, "school bus" means a commercial motor vehicle used to transport preprimary, primary or secondary school students from home-to-school, from school-to-home or to and from school sponsored events. School bus does not include a bus used as a common carrier.
(c) The existence of any fact which would make any person subject to the provisions of this section may not be considered unless the fact is clearly stated and included in the indictment or presentment by which the person is charged and is either:
(1) Found by the court upon a plea of guilty or nolo contendere;
(2) Found by the jury, if the matter be tried before a jury, upon submission to the jury of a special interrogatory for such purpose; or
(3) Found by the court, if the matter be tried by the court without a jury.
(d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the sentencing alternatives made available to circuit court judges under other provisions of this code.




NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to enact "Haven's Law" by increasing the criminal penalties for overtaking or passing a school bus stopped for the purpose of receiving or discharging children. The bill authorizes an educational campaign on school bus safety.
The also bill increases penalties for persons convicted of distributing drugs within one hundred feet of a school bus stop or on a school bus.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.
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