Va. lawmaker wants to fine drivers who illegally pass buses

WASHINGTON —School buses equipped with photo enforcement cameras routinely catch drivers illegally passing them, but in Virginia, state law says citations must be handed to drivers, not mailed.

That means, for the moment, most aggressive motorists get away without fines.

A delegate from Fairfax County wants to see that changed so drivers can be fined by mail.

“Being able to enforce the fine is as important as having the cameras,” said Del. Kaye Kory, D-Fairfax, who has introduced a bill to close the loophole in the law.

“I’m rather surprised, frankly, at the number of people who will drive around a school bus when it is obviously loading or unloading children.”

Buses for Arlington County and Falls Church public schools are equipped with the cameras. Falls Church halted its program in October after an attorney general’s opinion found a glitch in the law that required the citations to be delivered in person, not by mail.

Kory expects her bill to get prompt consideration in the 2016 General Assembly. Typically, changes to the law — when approved by the General Assembly — don’t take effect until at least midyear.

Kory is asking the legislature to promptly pass her bill and make it law. That way, citations can go out in the mail during this school year.

“The civil penalty is $250 and that will go directly to a school system,” Kory said.

Dick Uliano

Whether anchoring the news inside the Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center or reporting from the scene in Maryland, Virginia or the District, Dick Uliano is always looking for the stories that really impact people's lives.

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