Stop Arm Violation
Education & Enforcement
As of April 2016, Senate Bill 946 is in the Transportation Committee. S946 allows a civil penalty citation to be issued to the registered owner of a vehicle that overtakes a school bus if the driver cannot be identified by video recording.
TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 56-5-2774 SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE REGISTERED OWNER OF A VEHICLE THAT UNLAWFULLY OVERTAKES A SCHOOL BUS MAY BE ISSUED A CIVIL CITATION IF THE DRIVER OF HIS VEHICLE CAN NOT BE IDENTIFIED BY A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER OR A DIGITAL VIDEO RECORDING DEVICE MOUNTED ON A SCHOOL BUS, TO PROVIDE THE PROCEDURE WHEREBY THE CITATION MAY BE DISMISSED, AND TO PROVIDE THE PROCEDURE WHEREBY THE CITATION IS ISSUED.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Article 21, Chapter 5, Title 56 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 56-5-2774. (A) If a driver of a vehicle violates Section 56-5-2770(A) or (C) and can not be identified by a law enforcement officer from images obtained from a digital video recording device mounted on a school bus, then the registered owner of the vehicle may be issued a five hundred dollar civil penalty citation. The citation must be dismissed if the registered owner of the vehicle furnishes evidence to the court that at the time of the violation the vehicle was in the care, custody, or control of another person.
(B) The registered owner of the vehicle shall not be responsible for the violation if, within thirty days after being notified of the violation, he provides the court the following information:
(1) an affidavit that contains the name and address of the person or company that had care, custody, and control of the vehicle at the time of the violation; or
(2) an affidavit that states that the vehicle was stolen at the time of the violation. This affidavit must be supported by evidence that the vehicle was insured at the time of the violation and must be accompanied with a police report that confirms that the vehicle was stolen.
(C) No points contained in Section 56-1-720 shall be imposed against the driving record of the registered owner of the vehicle.
(D) A citation issued pursuant to this section shall state clearly the manner in which the citation may be challenged. The citation must be sent by first class mail to the registered owner of the vehicle at the address provided by the Department of Motor Vehicles."
SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina (Current Bill)
Signed: June 9, 2014 by Governor Haley
SECTION 2. Section 56-5-2770(D) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"(D)(1) A school bus must be equipped with red and amber visual signals meeting the requirements of State Department of Education Regulations and Specifications Pertaining to School Buses, which must be actuated by the driver whenever the bus is stopped or preparing to stop on the highway for the purpose of receiving or discharging school children. A driver must not actuate the special visual signals when the bus is in designated school bus loading or off-loading areas if the bus is off the roadway entirely.
(2) A school bus may be equipped with a digital video recording device mounted on the school bus with a clear view of vehicles passing the bus on either side and showing the date and time the recording was made and an electronic symbol showing the activation of amber lights, flashing red lights, stop arms, and brakes. Digital video recording devices mounted on school buses must be procured in compliance with Chapter 11, Title 35 or a procurement code adopted by the political subdivision procuring the digital video recording device in compliance with Section 11-35-50."
SECTION 3. Article 21, Chapter 5, Title 56 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 56-5-2773. (A) A uniform traffic citation alleging the violation of Section56-5-2770 may be issued based in whole or in part upon images obtained from a digital video recording device mounted on a school bus. A copy of the citation must be given directly to the alleged offender by the law enforcement officer issuing the citation.
(B) Digital images obtained from a digital video recording device mounted on a school bus pursuant to Section 56-5-2770(D) may be used as evidence at any hearing related to a violation of Section 56-5-2770 to corroborate testimony by the school bus driver or any other person who witnessed the offense."
SECTION 56-5-2780. Penalties for unlawfully passing a stopped school bus.
(A) A driver of a vehicle violating Section 56-5-2770 (A) or (C) is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, entry of a plea of guilty or nolo contendere, or forfeiture of bail for a first offense must be fined not less than five hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than thirty days. In lieu of imprisonment, the court may require that the individual complete an appropriate term of community service of not fewer than ten days upon terms and conditions the court considers proper. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a first offense for a violation of Section 56-5-2770 (A) or (C) may be tried in magistrate's court. Upon conviction, entry of a plea of guilty or nolo contendere, or forfeiture of bail for a second or subsequent violation of Section 56-5-2770 (A) or (C), a person is guilty of a misdemeanor and must be fined not less than two thousand dollars or more than five thousand dollars or imprisoned for not fewer than thirty days and not more than sixty days.
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