School Bus Ticket Update
Passing a school bus is a 5 point violation. It can result in a fine payable to the court in the hundreds as well as incarceration.
It is codified under VTL 1174. The statute spells out in black and white what the law provides and there is significant case law that helps further interpret the implementation and application of the law.
S 1174. Overtaking and passing school bus.
(a) The driver of a vehicle upon a public highway, street or private road upon meeting or overtaking from either direction any school bus marked and equipped as provided in subdivision twenty of section three hundred seventy-five of this chapter which has stopped on the public highway, street or private road for the purpose of receiving or discharging any passengers, or which has stopped because a school bus in front of it has stopped to receive or discharge any passengers, shall stop the vehicle before reaching such school bus when there is in operation on said school bus a red visual signal as specified in subdivision twenty of section three hundred seventy-five of this chapter and said driver shall not proceed until such school bus resumes motion, or until signaled by the driver or a police officer to proceed. For the purposes of this section, and in addition to the provisions of section one hundred thirty-four of this chapter, the term "public highway" shall mean any area used for the parking of motor vehicles or used as a driveway located on the grounds of a school or of a board of cooperative educational services facility or any area used as a means of access to and egress from such school or facility.
(b) The driver of such school bus, when receiving or discharging passengers who must cross a public highway, street or private road, shall instruct such passengers to cross in front of the bus and the driver thereof shall keep such school bus halted with red signal lights flashing until such passengers have reached the opposite side of such highway, street or private road. Whether such passengers are crossing such highway street or private road or discharging to the same side of such highway, street or private road, the driver of such bus shall keep such school bus halted with red signal lights flashing until such passengers are at least fifteen feet from the bus and either off the highway, street or private road or on a sidewalk.
(c) Every person convicted of a violation of subdivision (a) of this section shall: for a first conviction thereof, be punished by a fine of not less than two hundred fifty dollars nor more than four hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than thirty days or by both such fine and imprisonment; for a conviction of a second violation, both of which were committed within a period of three years, such person shall be punished by a fine of not less than six hundred dollars nor more than seven hundred fifty dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one hundred eighty days or by both such fine and imprisonment; upon a conviction of a third or subsequent violation, all of which were committed within a period of three years, such person shall be punished by a fine of not less than seven hundred fifty dollars nor more than one thousand dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one hundred eighty days or by both such fine and imprisonment. (d) For the purposes of this section, the term "passengers" shall mean those persons designated in paragraph (d) of subdivision twenty of section three hundred seventy-five of this chapter.
Fighting a school bus violation can be one of the more difficult traffic tickets to fight. In particular, many municipalities around the state will not offer a plea reduction and each case must be taken to trial.
Going to trial on an 1174 violation can involve video exhibits, cross-examination of multiple witnesses, and expert witness testimony.
If you have a passing a school bus violation, give our law firm a call to assess how we can help you.
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