A school bus safety law inspired by a local tragedy is in effect beginning Monday.
The MAXSTRONG law was signed by Governor Holcomb in May after three siblings were fatally struck in Rochester when trying to board the school bus back in October of 2018.
The law increases penalties for those who pass school buses or otherwise violate school bus laws.
Those charged with a misdemeanor could be fined up to $10,000 and lose their license for 90 days for a first offense. Repeat offenders could lose their license for a year.
Drivers who commit a violation that results in an injury will be charged with a Level 6 felony. They could see jail time of up to 2.5 years, and a fine of up to $10,000. Drivers could also lose their license for up to 2.5 years.
If a violation results in death, the charge is a Level 5 felony. That could result in up to 5 years in jail, and a fine of up to $10,000.
The new law also allows schools to petition their counties for money to pay for stop arm cameras for school buses. The funding for the cameras would come from money collected in school bus stop law penalties.
WNDU reports the MAXSTRONG school bus law also requires drop-offs and pickups to be curbside. This change was made to keep children from having to cross highways or high-speed roads to board the bus. There is an exception in place for towns and villages with slower speed zones, or if no other alternatives can be arranged.