Tragic Accident May Result In Stronger Laws
After a local family lost their son when a careless driver failed to stop behind a school bus letting kids out to cross the street, tougher punishments may be enacted to ensure more people stop when facing a bus’s flashing red lights. The law currently requires that everyone on the road stop when a school bus pulls over, turns on its flashing lights and loads or unloads children. Unfortunately, the penalties for those who violate the law are somewhat minor –leading to a lot of people speeding past the stopped vehicles.
After 5 year old Nathan Key was killed by a driver who violated this law though, the penalties may soon increase drastically.The new bill, dubbed “Nathan’s Law,” proposes to make those caught passing a stopped school bus face $500 in fines, a license suspension and up to two days in jail. Repeat offenders could be sentenced to up to $800 in fines. If a child was injured under this new bill, the crime would immediately become a felony and the driver could face $5000 in fines and up to 5 years in prison. Lt. Governor Phil Bryant has pledged his support for the bill, saying, “It is a promise personally that I will do all that I can to make certain this bill moves forward and moves forward quickly.”
Houston criminal attorneys believe the change could help reduce temptation to pass the buses, which many drivers see as slow obstructions.
“No parent should have to experience what we’ve been through,” said Andy Key, Nathan’s father.
Jan 12, 2010