When you’re in a hurry, it’s frustrating to be stuck behind a bus. That’s probably why so many drivers ignore the red lights on a school bus when they start flashing and pretend they don’t even see the “Stop” sign as it starts to extend.
What’s the harm in passing the school bus by, really, if its doors aren’t even open yet? Plenty — especially now that the law has changed.
New rules went into effect Jan. 1, 2020
There were several tragic accidents involving school buses, hurried drivers and injured children over the last year or so — and that prompted changes in legislation.
Effective Jan. 1, the penalties for passing a stopped school bus doubled. If you pass on the left (away from where the children exit the bus), the fine has been raised from $100 to $200 for a first offense. Do it twice within five years, you’ll also lose your license for up to a year.
Passing a stopped bus on the right (where children exit) is even worse. The ticket for a first offense has been raised from $200 to $400, and a second offense in five years will get your license suspended for up to two years.
Mistakes still happen where school buses are concerned
There are enough nuances in the laws regarding school buses and stopping that drivers often get confused — especially when they’re going the opposite direction as the bus. Mistakes happen, and traffic tickets can have long-lasting consequences on your life. If you made an innocent mistake or were unfairly ticketed, speak to an experienced traffic ticket attorney here in Vero Beach.