All Thomas Built Buses operating in Virginia now comply with a state requirement for parking brake interlocks, the OEM’s school bus dealer there said.
Over a fifth of the nation’s school bus drivers reported nearly 78,000 incidents of motorists illegally passing stopped school buses during one-day counts earlier this year, equating to 14 million violations over a 180-day school year.
A pilot project consisting of 82 school buses equipped with lap/shoulder seat belts last year for 11 North Carolina school districts is being expanded in the 2017-2018 school year, with 114 new buses with the three-point restraints being put into use among 13 districts.
The state Department of Public Safety said motorists who illegally pass stopped school buses with their stop arms out and red lights flashing face $500 fines starting Aug. 1.
A new law authorizes county school boards independently or under contract with a vendor to install stop-arm cameras on school buses to capture incidents of illegal passing and use the evidence to issue citations.