What are the common penalties for failure to stop for a school bus citation?

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Question:

What are the common penalties for failure to stop for a school bus citation?

Answer:

It is an unfortunate fact that every year thousands of children become injured while they are getting on or off their school bus. Motorists who are in a hurry to get to work in the morning often overlook school buses that are stopped to let children aboard. Failure to stop for a school bus that is actively letting children on or off is a serious offense. A fail to stop for a school bus citation may be issued against any driver that passes a school bus when it’s pulled over to load or offload children. Many people think that they are not required to stop for a school bus unless the actual sign is extended. Some folks may not be aware that the flashing red or yellow lights come on before the sign comes out.

Penalties for Failure to Stop for a School Bus

The laws in every jurisdiction require vehicles to come to a complete stop when passing a school bus that is loading or unloading students. Any driver who is convicted of failure to stop for a school bus can face severe penalties. These can include some of the following:

  • Large fines will be imposed and drivers in the State of California may face a fine of $1,000
  • Driver’s license may be suspended
  • Points will be assessed against driver’s license
  • Insurance premiums will be increased, in some cases up to 80% or more
  • Misdemeanor or felony offense if a child is hit

Drivers who injure or kill a child when they committed a traffic violation can face up to several months in county jail or more than a year in state prison if charged with a felony offense.

Hiring a Traffic Attorney to Defend Your Citation

Judges throughout the nation take any offense involving the safety of children very seriously. Police officers do not need to witness the infraction. Most states allow the bus driver to take down the license plate number of the offender who will then be cited at a later time. If you have received a citation for illegally passing a stopped school bus, you need the assistance of an experienced traffic lawyer who may be able to help defend you from being convicted of the offense.

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