[Baton Rouge]-On March 20, a bill to increase the penalties for those who don’t adhere to the laws pertaining to the stop signs on a school bus was voted on favorably.
Those who would violate the laws proposed by this bill could end up paying anywhere form $500-$5,000 dollars depending on the severity of the violation. One could also be subject to the suspension of their license or imprisonment.
Lieutenant Rodney Hyatt spoke about how the penalties for stop signs increased in another session and that they wanted to mirror that increase with the school buses because bus stop signs are just as important as regular stop signs.
State police requested the bill and Rep. Ledricka Thierry represented it.
Rep. Labat said, “Ledricka, thank you for bringing that bill in; it was in my area that a 5-year-old was killed, and it really was bad. I’d like to be a co-author if you don’t mind.”
Rep. Barbara Norton said, “I just want to share my sentiments of how important it is to make sure that we do everything that we can do to keep our children safe because we’re the ones who are responsible for our children.”
It seems that Rep. Thierry is affected by this bill more than anyone else. In her teenage years, Rep. Thierry was involved in an accident herself while accompanying children on and off a school bus.
“Something that some of you may not know is that’s how I got hit. I exited a school bus, and I was crossing the younger kids over and when I attempted to come back, another bus that didn’t want to wait came on the shoulder. ”
The most heart-wrenching moment of her story was when she discussed the outcome of the accident which ended in a fatality.
“A military bus hit me while I was getting off my school bus when I was 17. I just wanted you all know why this was so passionate to me because I lived and I was outside the bus, but this little girl died. She had actually made it on to the bus but the impact killed her.”
Rep. A.B. Franklin made a valid point about addressing the bus drivers and their positions in situations such as these. “We have to take a look at these school bus drivers and how they pass the cars.” Also, Rep. Landry noted that it is important to educate people about the bill and the way they plan on enforcing it.