It's back to school season already, and millions of children are hopping on bright yellow buses to get to school. Regardless of how experienced a school bus driver may be, other drivers on the road often violate bus traffic signals, putting children at risk. According to the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services, nearly 80,000 drivers illegally pass school buses nationwide every single day.
This means that 14 million traffic violations happen within a 180-day school year. These violations directly translate into injuries and fatalities—6 children were killed during the 2013 school year by illegal passing.
Every time a car illegally passes a bus, children entering or exiting the school bus are at risk.
Passing Stopped School Buses is Illegal
Nearly every state in the U.S. requires any car or truck driver to stop and wait when a school bus has deploys their stop sign. A driver is not permitted to pass the bus until the sign has been completely withdrawn.
Passing a school bus on the left is often considered a lesser offense, but passing a school bus on the right (where the children would be lining up) can result in an enhanced penalty and higher fines.
In either case, the penalties for passing include:
- Additional points to your license (4 in Florida, 5 in Pennsylvania)
- Licenses suspension for 90 days to 6 months (repeat offenders)
- Hundreds of dollars in fines (which doubles for right-hand passing)
In Pennsylvania, a first-time offense for passing a school bus comes with an automatic 60-day license suspension. State legislatures take our children’s road safety seriously, as they should.
Was Your Child Injured in a Pedestrian Accident?
If your loved one was harmed when exiting or entering a school bus because a car tried to pass, then you have the right to seek compensation from the person responsible. Aside from being illegal, civil law gives people the right to seek damages from those who caused them loss—either due to severe injury or wrongful death.
Arnold & Itkin are experienced bus accident lawyers—we know how to investigate the facts of complex cases and secure justice for our clients. Call (888) 493-1629 to share your story in a free consultation.