School busses have those swinging stop signs to protect the children getting on and off. The law says that an individual must stop for the school bus, regardless of what side of the bus the individual is on. The driver may resume driving when the stop sign is pulled in and the bus pulls away from the stop. Unfortunately, many accidents happen each year because of failure to stop for a school bus, including fatalities.
The first time someone is found guilty of failing to stop for a school bus, they can be fines approximately $100. The second time someone is found guilty of this offense, they can receive a fine of up to $200 and have their license suspended for up to 90 days – if the two offenses happened within a period of 5 years. Other fines may be added depending upon state, and some states give out jail time as well.
Individuals can receive 5 demerit points on their driver's licenses for passing a bus that is stopped, with it's flashing lights on and the stop sign arm out. These demerit points add up on a person's driver's license record and after receiving so many within a small period of time – one could find their driver's license suspended for 90 days or longer. Most insurance companies raise premiums for individuals who have received demerit points, especially for traffic crimes that are considered highly dangerous, such as this one.
Individuals who have been charged with failure to stop for a school bus should consider contacting an attorney. Often times, people who have been charged with this crime feel as if they didn't actually commit it. An attorney can look at the details and if one is innocent, can help prove to the court that they are. Attorneys are often able to obtain lesser penalties, fines and point numbers for their clients as well.
Many attorneys offer free consultations, making it easy for individuals to meet with them and determine their rights and options under the current laws. It's not fair to take consequences and penalties for a traffic violation you didn't actually commit, and in some instances, mistakes can't be helped. An attorney can help sort out all of the mess and help you explain exactly what happened to the court.