school_busRALEIGH — Drivers who break the law and pass stopped school buses beware.

A bill is now being considered by the general assembly that would expand the current law, which allows for criminal prosecution and now also allow school districts to penalize you.

Under the proposal, the cost for the violation would be $500.

Bill sponsors say that is a steep fine, but they believe it is necessary.

“We have over 13,300 buses on the road in North Carolina twice a day, every day that school is open. We had a study run and over 3,000 people were running the stop arm on those school buses everyday, which is absolutely deplorable,” said Sen. Tom McInnis.

As the proposal is written, school districts could choose if they participate in the civil penalty program.

The bill is currently being considered in committee.

– Loretta Boniti