A N A C T
RELATING TO MOTOR VEHICLES -- SPECIAL STOPS
It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
SECTION 1. Section 31-20-12 of the General Laws in Chapter 31-20 entitled "Special Stops Required" is hereby amended to read as follows:
31-20-12. Stopping for school bus required -- Penalty for violation - (a) The driver of a vehicle upon a street, highway, private way, private or public parking area upon meeting or overtaking from any direction any bus marked as "school bus" whenever the bus is being operated in accordance with section 31-20-11 and on which there is in operation flashing red lights, shall stop the vehicle before reaching the bus and the driver shall not proceed until the bus resumes motion or until the flashing lights are no longer actuated. No driver of any motor vehicle, except emergency vehicles on official business, shall travel in the same lane of traffic behind a school bus at a distance of less than fifty feet (50'). A person convicted of a violation of this section shall be punished by a fine not to exceed three hundred dollars ($300) and/or suspension of driving license for a period not to exceed thirty (30) days for the first offense, and a mandatory fine of not less than three hundred dollars ($300) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500) and/or revocation of driving license for a period of one year for each subsequent offense.
(b) A peace officer may issue a summons based on the statement or testimony of a school bus driver or monitor or other private citizen provided that the statement or testimony provides the peace officer with sufficient probable cause that a violation under this section was committed. Any conviction under this section may be punished in accordance with subsection (a) of this section.
SECTION 2. Section 31-20-12.1 of the General Laws in Chapter 31-20 entitled "Special Stops Required" is hereby repealed.
31-20-12.1. Private complaint -- Passing a school bus -- (a) Upon receipt of a private complaint, in writing and signed by the complainant, the administrative adjudication court shall by letter notify the violator to respond in writing within twenty (20) days to the allegations of the complaint. Failure to respond to the letter will result in the person being notified to appear before a judge of the administrative adjudication court and show cause why his or her license should not be suspended. Failure to appear at the hearing will result in the suspension of the person's license until such time as the person does appear;
(b) On any second or subsequent violation within one year, the person shall be issued a summons to appear for a hearing, and failure to appear will result in the suspension of the person's license until such time as the person does appear;
(c) At any hearing resulting from any violation, the complainant shall also appear at the hearing. Any penalties resulting from this hearing shall be pursuant to the provisions of chapter 43 of this title.
SECTION 3. Section 1 of this act shall take effect upon passage. Section 2 of this act shall take effect upon passage and shall apply to incidents occurring on and after the effective date.