HB243: Passing stopped school buses; mailing of summons.

HOUSE BILL NO. 243

Offered January 13, 2016
Prefiled December 29, 2015
A BILL to amend and reenact § 46.2-844 of the Code of Virginia, relating to passing stopped school buses; mailing of summons.
Patron-- Minchew

Committee Referral Pending

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That § 46.2-844 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted as follows:

§ 46.2-844. Passing stopped school buses; penalty; prima facie evidence.

A. The driver of a motor vehicle approaching from any direction a clearly marked school bus which that is stopped on any highway, private road, or school driveway for the purpose of taking on or discharging children, the elderly, or mentally or physically handicapped persons, who, in violation of § 46.2-859, fails to stop and remain stopped until all such persons are clear of the highway, private road, or school driveway, is subject to a civil penalty of $250, and any prosecution shall be instituted and conducted in the same manner as prosecutions for traffic infractions.

A prosecution or proceeding under § 46.2-859 is a bar to a prosecution or proceeding under this section for the same act, and a prosecution or proceeding under this section is a bar to a prosecution or proceeding under § 46.2-859 for the same act.

In any prosecution for which a summons charging a violation of this section was issued within ten 10 days of the alleged violation, proof that the motor vehicle described in the summons was operated in violation of this section, together with proof that the defendant was at the time of such violation the registered owner of the vehicle, as required by Chapter 6 (§ 46.2-600 et seq.) of this title shall give rise to a rebuttable presumption that the registered owner of the vehicle was the person who operated the vehicle at the place where, and for the time during which, the violation occurred.

The testimony of the school bus driver, the supervisor of school buses, or a law-enforcement officer that the vehicle was yellow, conspicuously marked as a school bus, and equipped with warning devices as prescribed in § 46.2-1090 is prima facie evidence that the vehicle is a school bus.

B. A locality may, by ordinance, authorize the school division of the locality to install and operate a video-monitoring system in or on the school buses operated by the division or to contract with a private vendor to do so on behalf of the school division for the purpose of recording violations of subsection A. Such ordinance may direct that any civil penalty levied for a violation of subsection A shall be payable to the local school division. In any locality that has adopted such an ordinance, a summons for a violation of subsection A may be executed pursuant to § 19.2-76.2 and, notwithstanding the provisions of § 19.2-76, the summons may be executed by mailing by first-class mail a copy thereof to the address of the owner of the vehicle as shown on the records of the Department.

For purposes of this subsection, "video-monitoring system" means a system with one or more camera sensors and computers installed and operated on a school bus that produces live digital and recorded video of motor vehicles being operated in violation of § 46.2-859. All such systems installed shall, at a minimum, produce a recorded image of the license plate and shall record the activation status of at least one warning device as prescribed in § 46.2-1090 and the time, date, and location of the vehicle when the image is recorded.