Not stopping for school buses could soon mean paying a bigger fine

Bill to increase fines for certain school bus related offenses
Posted at 8:38 AM, Feb 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-28 18:10:50-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A proposed bill could mean a bigger fine if you don't stop for a school bus that's picking up or dropping off kids.

Right now if the camera catches you not properly stopping for the bus — you get a $50 fine for your first offense. This new bill would increase it to $200.

Confused about what to do if a school bus stops? Here's a diagram to help.

The bill cites data that the average number of citations issued in 2019 and 2021 was 51.

"The proposed legislation increases the penalty for the offense in only the cases in which the violation was based solely upon evidence from a camera installed on the exterior of the bus," the bill states.

As for how many violations fall into that category, the bill said it is unknown, but it is "reasonably assumed" to be 20%.

The money in these cases will go to the districts, which then can do what they want with it.

"When they're unloading children, it's an extreme safety hazard. And we just wanted a little more teeth in that," said Republican Knoxville Senator Becky Duncan Massey. She is the bill's sponsor.

The total increase in local revenue would be about $1,500. If passed, it would go into effect on July 1, 2022.

This bill passed in the Senate on Monday. It's set to be discussed in the House Transportation Committee on Tuesday.