Failed to Stop for School Bus, NYS VTL § 1174-a

A traffic ticket for passing a stopped school bus in New York State is a BAD violation. One reason is because courts take this offense very seriously and enforce maximum penalties. But, what does it mean to be in violation of this law? This traffic ticket is discussed in two different sections of the law, NYS VTL §§ 1174-a, 375.20, and must be read together to get the whole picture.

The following is what is required in order for a driver to be in violation of passing a stopped school bus.

  • A driver must stop for a school bus in either direction when:
  • the school bus is stopped on a public highway, street or private road
  • the school bus is be stopped, but engaged in picking up (receiving) or dropping off (discharging) passengers for transporting 
    • Children to/from
      • camp or camp activities
      •  religious services or instruction 
      • child care for children of migrant farm workers or food processing laborers
    •  Students to/from school or school activities
    • Disabled persons when used by not-for-profit agency licensed by NYS or any state facility
  • the school bus has red flashing signal lights in the front and back of the bus
  • the flashing signals are illuminated and flashing
  • the the words “School Bus” are painted in black on the outside of the bus, both in the front and back of the bus
  • the “School Bus” letters are the same size and at minimum 8” high and at least 1” wide
  • the school bus is painted yellow color known as “national school bus chrome.”

Now, some of these requirements are technical, like the sizing of the letters “School Bus.” However, this is where an experienced traffic attorney comes into play to argue these facts in court for you. So, do not get too caught up on the fine details.    

Exceptions To The Law

Every law has exceptions. So, in general, a driver cannot drive past a stopped school bus if the above elements are true. But, even if a school bus is stopped a driver can drive past the bus if the school bus driver or police officer signals the motorist to pass the bus.

What Are the Penalties and Fines?

A school bus violation carries 5 points. It is important to keep in mind that wracking up 11 points in a year and a half means a license suspension. Plus, it can trigger a driver responsibility assessment fee if a driver already has points on his or her driving record.

Fines for a conviction range from $0 to $450 depending on whether it is a first, second or third offense. Plus, mandatory surcharges can be up to $93.00.

A conviction of this violation can cause car insurance premium increases for several years, which means paying big bucks to your insurance carrier.

Before you pay that ticket find out your options by consulting a traffic ticket lawyer in Westchester County. Whatever you do, do NOT pay the ticket! Fight it because its consequences are too severe. In fact, set yourself up for success by consulting with the best traffic ticket attorney and hiring the best defense possible. Do this by contacting Elisa Claro, Esq. at 917-300-3334 or online for a free consultation. New York traffic Lawyer Elisa Claro, Esq. has handled thousands of traffic tickets throughout New York, including Westchester County – Yonkers, Scardale, White Plains. Hire the best defense by calling today and let Elisa put her experience to work for you.