Authorities urge school bus safety, obeying stop arms

Authorities are warning you to be careful while driving now that school is back in session, and say that they are looking for those drivers who ignore school bus stop arms.

According to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department, drivers who illegally pass a stopped school bus can be charged with a misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $5,000. If that action injures someone, the offense rises to a felony, punishable by up to two-and-a-half years in prison. And recklessly passing a stopped school bus and killing someone is a higher level felony charge with a one- to six-year prison sentence and up to $10,000 in fines.

Courts can also suspend driving privileges if you violate the stop-arm law. Those can be suspended for 90 days or for up to a year for repeat offenders.