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NY Passing Stopped School Bus Laws

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NY Passing Stopped School Bus Laws

New York strictly enforces school bus laws and it’s understandable when New Yorkers read tragic headlines like  “6-Year-Old Boy Dead in Brooklyn After School Bus Hit-and-Run” and “7-Year-Old Boy Killed by Van Driver After Getting Off School Bus in Far Rockaway” far too often. 

NY passing stopped school bus laws are in place to protect young children, but unfortunately, some drivers aren’t paying close enough attention to the school bus activity around them or forget or flat-out ignore these laws.  In either scenario drivers are putting children in harm’s way.

Drivers must be aware of school buses in NY even if the bus is on the other side of a divided highway. 

New York School Bus Safety

According to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles, when a school bus stops and flashes its red lights, traffic approaching from either direction must stop before reaching the bus:

Vehicles should stop at least 20 feet from the bus; while leaving less room could in theory result in a ticket the most important aspect is coming to a complete stop while the bus is dropping off or picking up passengers.  At a stop, your vehicle is no longer a threat to any of the children in the area.. It’s extremely important to understand and pay very close attention to any school buses in the area.

Click here to learn more about the specific provisions of the New York state laws for passing a school bus.

Penalties for Passing a School Bus in New York

Fines can range depending on the court and the individual situation and driving history but suffice to say this is NOT a violation taken lightly by most judges.  There are also five points attached to this violation on top of the fines and surcharges.  

What to Do if You Were Given a Ticket for Passing a School Bus

If you’ve been issued a ticket for failure to stop for a school bus answerable to a local court, you’ll most likely pursue a plea bargain and a negotiated reduction of the charge before you schedule a trial on the merits.  In NYC at the Traffic Violations Bureau you’ll need to proceed to a small hearing as there is no plea bargaining option in those courts.  

Call a New York Traffic Ticket Attorney Today

The potential penalties involved and the various situations that could lead to the issuance of a school bus ticket make this violation one where a brief consult with an attorney can be particularly helpful as you decide how to handle the summons.  Children’s safety is always a priority, but unfortunately the nature of this violation can sometimes lead to overly aggressive enforcement.

We’ve worked with many people who have argued that they were issued a ticket for this violation despite passengers not getting on or off the bus or just before the red lights were ever illuminated or were otherwise adamant that they did not commit a violation.

If you were given a ticket for passing a school bus, feel fee to call the New York traffic ticket lawyers at Feifer & Greenberg for some guidance on the situation and potentially help having your ticket reduced or dismissed.


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