New Indiana and Kentucky Legislation Fights Illegal School Bus Passing

School bus with stop arm deployed and LED lights flashing.
School bus with stop arm deployed and LED lights flashing.

Indiana and Kentucky legislators are taking proactive measures to increase enforcement of the illegal passing of school buses by motorists.

Indiana Senate Bill 219 would permit the seizure of a vehicle if it recklessly passes a school bus when the stop-arm is extended.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Ronnie Alting, was introduced on Jan. 6 and referred to the Committee on Judiciary. The bill would amend the Indiana Code concerning criminal law and procedure.

Last year, Indiana became the latest state to authorize school districts to install video cameras on school buses to capture footage of illegal passers. Another bill passed into law last year also increases the penalty for illegal passing.

The legislation is in response to the deaths of three Rochester, Indiana siblings who were killed on Oct. 30, 2018, as they crossed a rural state road to board their school bus. Motorist Alyssa Shepherd, 24, was sentenced to four years in prison last month after previously being found guilty of vehicular homicide for her role in the crash.


Related: Woman Receives 4-Year Prison Sentence for Fatal 2018 Indiana School-Bus Crash
Related: Indiana School Bus Attendant Killed in Crash
Related: Woman Arrested In Death of Three Indiana Students at School Bus Stop
Related: Kentucky Legislation Calls for Mandatory School Bus Stop-Arm Cameras
Related: Winters Named Outstanding Rookie Director at Kentucky Transportation Conference


Meanwhile, House Bill 34, which was introduced on Jan. 7, calls for a new section of the Kentucky Revised Statutes that requires each local school district to install and maintain stop-arm cameras on all school buses that are engaged in daily routes, by Aug. 1, 2023.

The bill, sponsored by six representatives, would require each school district to create procedures for submitting recorded images to the Transportation Cabinet within seven days of the alleged violation.

Motorists who are found in violation of passing a stopped Kentucky school bus after Aug. 1, 2021, will be fined $200 for the first offense and $500 for each subsequent offense that occurs within a three-year period.

HB 34 was referred to the Transportation Committee.