The Legal Implications of Accidentally Passing a Stopped School Bus


School buses play an essential role in transporting children safely to and from school and should, therefore, be treated with great respect when on the road. Most American states prohibit passing a school bus with flashing red lights and its stop arm extended.

Stopping for a School Bus

In most states, it is unlawful to pass a school bus that displays flashing red lights and an extended mechanical stop sign arm while picking up or dropping off passengers. Failure to observe this law could result in serious harm being done to children as well as drivers on the road – not only could a simple traffic violation ensue, but potentially deadly results as well.

Laws mandating drivers to wait for school buses are in place because children are especially susceptible to traffic accidents when crossing streets and require extra protection before exiting or entering vehicles safely. Therefore, this law must be implemented year-round rather than just near schools during school terms.

However, on a divided roadway with physical barriers or multiple lanes of traffic, rules differ slightly. Drivers traveling in either direction on two-lane highways don’t need to stop if a bus is approaching on their side with a median.

Cars traveling on divided roadways opposite a school bus must stop when either its overhead lights are activated, or it starts moving again; this rule also applies on private roads or driveways with school buses parked nearby, though drivers needn’t extend stop signs.

If you fail to stop for a school bus with its red lights flashing and stop-sign arm extended, a law enforcement officer may issue you with a traffic ticket for violating the law. This severe offense can incur fines between $500 and $1,250, as well as points being deducted from your driving record or license suspension in extreme cases. Taking defensive driving classes may help mitigate these effects; however, it’s wiser to remember that breaking laws often have costly repercussions and ensure children remain the priority on the road at all times.

Traffic Citations and Fines

Children’s safety is of utmost importance, which is why many jurisdictions have laws outlining how vehicles should interact with school buses. Passing an unattended school bus without permission is often considered illegal, so this post will explore both its legal implications and offer some general advice for drivers in this situation.

Texas law stipulates that when a school bus stops with its red lights illuminated and extended stop sign activated, all drivers in both directions must immediately come to a complete halt until it moves on its own or its visual signals have stopped active. This rule applies when traveling on two-way streets or highways with center turn lanes; however, the laws vary when traveling along divided roads.

No matter whether it is your first offense or repeat offense, penalties for driving under the influence can be severe, from fines and points deducted from your record to license suspension based on state-specific laws.

As the school year starts up again, now is an opportune time to revisit traffic laws surrounding schools. Remembering that children are among the most vulnerable passengers on roads, and one careless mistake could put them in harm’s way is paramount.

Many drivers understand the dangers associated with speeding and using mobile devices while driving through school zones; however, not everyone is aware that passing a school bus that has its flashing lights illuminated and an extended stop arm activated is illegal as well. Unfortunately, drivers often disregard this law, placing children in harm’s way.

Typically, if caught passing a stopped school bus without stopping first, a class B misdemeanor traffic citation will be issued against you. Depending on the severity of your offense, fines between $250 and $1,000 could be assessed, as well as jail time, community service obligations, or license suspension.

Legal Counsel

Safety for school children is of utmost importance, which is why school bus laws in many jurisdictions are so stringent. Passing a stopped school bus accidentally can have serious legal repercussions that may adversely impact your driving record or even result in having your license suspended if you are found breaking these laws by familiarizing yourself with school bus laws and taking appropriate precautions to reduce accidental passings of stopped buses altogether.

It is crucial to acknowledge your mistake if you accidentally pass a stopped school bus by taking responsibility and realizing you have a problem. Your priority should be ensuring no children were injured due to your error and taking steps to ensure it won’t happen again. Second, find a local attorney who can guide you through the legal process and evaluate your specific circumstances.

Ideally, an accident will allow for your ticket to be dismissed; however, this isn’t always possible, so it is wise to be ready in the event of the worst happening.

In most states, violating school bus stop laws will result in the issuing of a traffic citation with fines and points added to your driver’s license. First-time offenses could even lead to license suspension for up to 60 days; repeat offenses could incur penalties of $2,000 in addition to additional court costs and fees; therefore, an experienced lawyer must be hired in order to fight these citations and stop points being added onto your record.

Taking Action

Buses provide safe transport for over one million children and teens each day to and from school, yet not all drivers understand its significance in adhering to Texas school bus laws. Many motorists ignore flashing red lights or extended stop arms of a stopped school bus, violating state law while putting students’ lives at risk.

Negligent driving behavior by drivers may arise due to ignorance or carelessness; other times, it could be the result of recklessness or intoxication behind the wheel. No matter its source, passing a school bus poses grave danger to children that puts them at serious risk of injuries or even death; if this has happened in Texas, immediate steps must be taken and reported immediately to authorities.

No matter whether you are driving on a two-lane road with no median or a four-lane highway with a center turning lane when a school bus activates its flashing red lights and stop sign, all vehicles must come to a halt immediately. This rule applies equally on either side of the street if approaching from either direction – only after it moves again, its red lights stop flashing, and its driver has signaled it as safe can you resume your journey.

Many individuals work diligently to reduce the chances of inadvertently violating school bus laws by slowing down, leaving phones in their vehicles, and being extra vigilant when driving near schools. Another effective strategy is attending traffic school or defensive driving courses, which can increase one’s awareness and attentiveness behind the wheel.

If you have been charged with a traffic violation, it’s essential to consult an experienced attorney as soon as possible. At Liggett Law Group, our mission is to help guide the legal process while holding negligent drivers responsible. Contact us now for a free case evaluation and receive the assistance you deserve – check out our client reviews and testimonials to gain further insight into who we have helped in our community! We pride ourselves on having assisted many.