<h1>Senator Stephen Baldwin (D- Greenbrier) introduced Senate Bill 238 this year, a bill that doubles fines for motorists passing stopped school buses.<\/h1>\r\n\u201cAfter an incident in Indiana this fall involving the death of three children exiting a school bus, local drivers approached me,\u201d said Baldwin. \u201cThey said people pass their stopped buses every day, endangering kids. They said we\u2019re lucky more children aren\u2019t injured or killed, and we must do something about it. Today, we are doing something about it.\u201d\r\n\r\nEarlier this week, the Senate passed S.B. 238 unanimously.\r\n\r\n\u201cIf drivers don\u2019t take children\u2019s safety seriously, they will face serious consequences. These are among the stiffest penalties in the nation not only in terms of fines but also license forfeiture,\u201d said Baldwin. The bill raises first-time offense penalties to a fine of $500-$1,000 (from $250) and license suspension for 60 days; second offense penalties to a $1,000-1,500 fine and license suspension for 180 days; and three or more violations would now carry a penalty of a $2,000 fine, at least 48 hours\u2019 jail time, and loss of license for one year.\r\n\r\nThese penalties may seem tough, said Baldwin, but they need to be tough - children are dying because of negligent and impatient drivers. \u201cWe call this \u2018Haven\u2019s Law,\u2019 in honor of Haven McCarthy, who died getting off a school bus in Lincoln County in 2007. We owe it to children and their families to keep our little ones safe.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cBus drivers have a tough job,\u201d said Baldwin. \u201cFrom dealing with mountainous terrain to weather to maintaining order on the bus, they do it all. But they can\u2019t take care of kids and catch offenders who pass their stopped buses at the same time.\u201d To aid drivers in reporting violations to law enforcement, the bill provides that all new buses will be equipped with front and rear facing cameras. The cameras will be paid for by the WV Department of Education using federal funding.\r\n\r\nThe bill has been received by the House of Delegates and referred to the House Judiciary Committee.