Petition Proposes Harsher Punishments For Drivers Who Ignore School Bus Stop Signs

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA/CNN) — A new petition is calling on the government to create federal bus stop safety laws.

The petition on WhiteHouse.gov calls for legislation that will institute severe penalties on drivers who ignore the extended stop sign and red lights on stopped school buses. The suggested penalties include 30 days in jail, a 90-day driver’s license suspension and a mandatory minimum fine of $5,000 on the first offense.

The petition was created on Oct. 31. That week, five children were killed in just three days while waiting for school buses.

One driver in rural Indiana fatally struck three children, a 9-year-old girl and two 6-year-old boys, and was arrested on charges of felony reckless homicide and misdemeanor passing a school bus with the arm extended.

A 9-year-old boy in Mississippi was struck and killed while crossing the road to board a school bus. The driver was charged with aggravated assault.

In central Pennsylvania, a 7-year-old boy was found dead on the side of the road at a bus stop. Authorities determined he had been run over by a passing motorist.

That same week, a driver in Tallahassee, Fla., didn’t realize a school bus was stopped with the arm extended and struck a kindergartner who was crossing the street. The child was injured, but is expected to be OK.

In Tampa, Fla., a driver struck and injured five children and two adults who were at a school bus stop. None of the victims’ injuries were considered life-threatening.

As of Monday, the WhiteHouse.gov petition had more than 2,600 signatures. The petition creator hopes to get 100,000 signatures by Nov. 30.

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