Reminder: Pass a stopped school bus and you WILL get a ticket.

With the start of the new school year, what better time than now to review the rules and regulations pertaining to stopped school busses…

Define: School Bus

How are school busses different from that of other busses? The definition of a school bus includes the transportation of children, school personnel or senior citizens and only applies in the event that the words “school bus” are plainly visible on the front and rear of the bus.

Rules & Regulations

A driver must stop when a school bus is displaying its mechanical stop signal OR red flashing lights, and if the bus is stopped for the purpose of receiving or discharging passengers. The driver must remain stopped until the mechanical arm has been withdrawn, the red flashing lights are off and the bus has once again started to move.

All traffic must stop in both directions if:

  • They are on a two lane road
  • They are on a two lane road with a center turn lane
  • They are on a 4+ lane road without a center median or center turn lane


There are, however, a few exceptions to when a driver must stop. A driver approaching a stopping or stopped school bus from the opposite direction does not have to stop if:

  • They are on a highway of four or more lanes with a center median
  • They are on a highway of four or more lanes with a center turning lane

In those instances only the traffic following behind the school bus must stop.


The penalties for passing a stopped school bus are serious and include a mandatory $500.00 fine plus court costs. In addition, the driver will not be given a prayer for judgement under any circumstances. A conviction for passing a stopped school bus also carries with it four insurance points, which would result in an ~80% increase on the driver’s insurance premiums.

We Can Help You

If you’ve been charged for illegally passing a stopped school bus give us a call. Our attorneys have successfully represented thousands of traffic and speeding ticket cases.

Written by Sandman, Finn & Fitzhugh. You can find them on – Google+