AN ACT TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL METHODS FOR PROVING THAT A STOPPED VEHICLE PASSED BY ANOTHER MOTOR VEHICLE IS A "SCHOOL BUS" SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF G.S.20-217, TO REQUIRE LOCAL SCHOOL ADMINISTRATIVE UNITS TO PROVIDE INSTRUCTION IN SCHOOL BUS SAFETY TO STUDENTS, AND TO DIRECT THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION TO STUDY HOW THE SAFETY OF CHILDREN BOARDING AND EXITING SCHOOL BUSES MAY BE INCREASED.
Section 1 amends GS 20217(b). Deletes language making the statute applicable only when a school bus has a plainly visible sign saying "school bus" on the front and rear of the vehicle. Establishes that prima facie evidence that a vehicle is a school bus at the time of a violation of subsection (a) of the statute is (1) a certified copy of a record from the Division of Motor Vehicles showing that the vehicle was registered as a school bus, admissible as evidence without further authentication or (2) testimony from the school bus driver, a passenger on the school bus, or the law enforcement officer investigating the violation of subsection (a) of the statute. Clarifies that school buses include privately owned school buses transporting children (currently includes privately owned buses transporting children). Makes a technical change. Effective October 1, 2017, and applicable to offenses commited on or after that date.
Section 2 amends GS 115C242. Directs local school administrative units to provide instruction in school bus safety to all elementary school students every school year, as developed by the State Board of Education, beginning with the 201718 school year.
Section 3 directs the Department of Public Instruction and the Department of Transportation to study procedures and equipment that may be used to increase school bus safety for children, including the feasibility and cost of equipping school buses with a device to provide a barrier between children and motor vehicles that may be approaching a bus. Directs the Department of Public Instruction to report its findings and recommendations to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee by January 15, 2018.
Except as otherwise indicated, the act is effective when it becomes law.
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