Call For A Free Consultation 212-257-8321

Habla Español

I Accidentally Passed a Stopped School Bus in NY and Got a Ticket

I Accidentally Passed a Stopped School Bus in NY and Got a Ticket

In New York, passing a stopped school bus is a serious traffic violation that carries significant penalties. Understanding the law and knowing what to do if you accidentally pass a stopped school bus can help you navigate this challenging situation. At the Law Office of Craig Bondy, we provide legal assistance to help you address and potentially contest these violations. In this blog, we’ll define the law regarding school buses in NY, explain what to do if you accidentally pass one, and discuss how a ticket lawyer can help.

What is the Law Regarding Passing a Stopped School Bus in NY?

I Accidentally Passed a Stopped School Bus in NY and Got a Ticket

New York State law mandates that all vehicles must stop when a school bus is stopped with its red lights flashing. This applies to all directions of traffic, whether you are approaching from the front or rear of the bus, and regardless of whether there is a physical barrier or median. The key points of the law include:

Stopping Requirements:

  • Vehicles must stop at least 20 feet away from the bus.
  • The stop is required when the bus has its red lights flashing and its stop sign extended.
  • Traffic from both directions must stop on undivided highways and roads.

Penalties for Bust Stop Violations

In New York, the penalties for passing a stopped school bus are severe due to the high risk to children’s safety. Understanding these penalties can help you appreciate the seriousness of the offense and the importance of seeking legal assistance if you face such a ticket. Here’s a detailed breakdown of the potential consequences for violating this law:


First Offense:

  • Amount: Fines for a first offense range from $250 to $400.
  • Purpose: These fines serve as a deterrent to prevent drivers from repeating the offense and to emphasize the importance of adhering to school bus laws.

Second Offense (within three years):

  • Amount: The fine increases significantly for a second offense, ranging from $600 to $750.
  • Increased Penalty: The increased fine reflects the seriousness of repeated violations and aims to discourage drivers from endangering school children.

Third or Subsequent Offense (within three years):

  • Amount: For third or subsequent offenses, fines can reach up to $1,000.
  • Escalation: The escalating fines underscore the state’s commitment to protecting children and punishing repeat offenders more harshly.

Points on Your License

Points System:

  • 5 Points: Each violation for passing a stopped school bus adds 5 points to your driving record.
  • Impact: Accumulating points can lead to higher insurance premiums and can bring you closer to the threshold for license suspension.

Consequences of Points:

  • License Suspension: In New York, accumulating 11 points within an 18-month period can result in the suspension of your driver’s license. Given that a single school bus violation adds 5 points, multiple offenses can quickly lead to suspension.

Possible Jail Time

First Offense:

  • Imprisonment: While first offenses generally result in fines and points, there is a potential for up to 30 days in jail, particularly if the violation is deemed egregious.

Second Offense (within three years):

  • Increased Jail Time: A second offense can lead to up to 180 days in jail. The possibility of incarceration increases with repeated violations to underscore the seriousness of the offense.

Third or Subsequent Offense (within three years):

  • Maximum Jail Time: For third or subsequent offenses, the law allows for up to 180 days in jail. This harsh penalty reflects the heightened risk and repeated disregard for the law.

License Suspension

Immediate Suspension:

  • Court’s Discretion: For particularly severe cases or repeat offenders, the court may impose an immediate suspension of your driver’s license.
  • Administrative Action: Beyond the court’s decision, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) can also suspend your license based on accumulated points.

Long-Term Impact:

  • Reinstatement Requirements: To reinstate a suspended license, you may need to complete specific requirements, such as attending a defensive driving course, paying reinstatement fees, and providing proof of insurance.

Hardship License:

  • Restricted Driving: In some cases, you might be eligible for a hardship license, which allows limited driving privileges, such as commuting to work or school. However, obtaining such a license requires demonstrating a significant need and adhering to strict conditions.

Additional Consequences

Increased Insurance Rates:

  • Premium Hikes: Traffic violations, especially those involving school buses, often lead to higher insurance premiums. Insurers view these violations as indicators of risky driving behavior.
  • Long-Term Costs: The financial impact of increased insurance rates can be significant and long-lasting, affecting your budget for years.

Driver Responsibility Assessment:

  • Additional Fees: New York State imposes a Driver Responsibility Assessment fee for drivers who accumulate six or more points within 18 months. This fee is $100 per year for three years, plus $25 for each additional point.
  • Financial Burden: This assessment adds to the overall cost of a traffic violation, further emphasizing the importance of avoiding points on your driving record.

Criminal Record:

  • Misdemeanor Charge: Passing a stopped school bus is typically classified as a misdemeanor. A conviction can lead to a permanent criminal record, which can affect employment, housing, and other aspects of your life.
  • Record Expungement: In some cases, it may be possible to expunge or seal your criminal record, but this requires a legal process and is not guaranteed.

I Accidentally Passed a Stopped School Bus in NY and Got a Ticket; Now What?

If you’ve accidentally passed a stopped school bus in New York and received a ticket, you’re likely feeling stressed and unsure about what to do next. This violation carries severe penalties, but there are steps you can take to address the situation. At the Law Office of Craig Bondy, we’re here to guide you through this challenging process and help you achieve the best possible outcome. Here’s what you should do if you find yourself in this situation.

Stay Calm and Assess the Situation

  • Pull Over Safely: If you’re still on the road, find a safe place to pull over and stop your vehicle.
  • Take a Moment: Take a few deep breaths to calm yourself. Staying composed will help you handle the situation more effectively.

Review the Ticket

  • Check Details: Carefully read the ticket for important information, such as the date, time, location, and description of the violation.
  • Note Deadlines: Pay attention to any deadlines for responding to the ticket or appearing in court.

Document the Incident

  • Gather Evidence: If possible, gather evidence that might support your case. This could include photos of the area, witness statements, or dashcam footage.
  • Write Down Details: Record your recollection of the incident, including any factors that may have contributed to your passing the bus unintentionally (e.g., poor visibility, unclear road markings).

Understand the Penalties

  • Fines and Points: Be aware of the potential fines (ranging from $250 to $1,000) and the addition of 5 points to your driving record.
  • Additional Consequences: Understand that repeat offenses can lead to increased fines, possible jail time, and license suspension.

Decide How to Plead

  • Not Guilty: If you believe you have a valid defense, you can plead not guilty and contest the ticket.
  • Guilty or No Contest: Pleading guilty or no contest means accepting the penalties, but in some cases, negotiating for reduced fines or points may be possible.

How a Traffic Ticket Lawyer Can Help

Hiring an experienced traffic ticket lawyer can significantly improve your chances of a favorable outcome. Here’s how we at the Law Office of Craig Bondy can assist you:

Case Evaluation:

  • Thorough Review: We will review all the details of your case, including the ticket, evidence, and your account of the incident.
  • Identify Defenses: Our team will identify potential defenses, such as errors in the ticket, insufficient evidence, or extenuating circumstances.

Challenging the Evidence:

  • Questioning Accuracy: We will examine the evidence presented by law enforcement to ensure its accuracy and reliability.
  • Highlighting Errors: If there are any procedural errors or discrepancies in the officer’s report, we will use these to challenge the ticket.


  • Reducing Penalties: Our lawyers are skilled negotiators who can work with prosecutors to reduce fines, points, and other penalties.
  • Alternative Solutions: In some cases, we may be able to negotiate alternative solutions, such as attending a defensive driving course to reduce points.

Representation in Court:

  • Advocacy: If your case goes to court, we will represent you, presenting a strong defense and advocating on your behalf.
  • Cross-Examination: We will cross-examine witnesses and challenge the prosecution’s evidence to build a compelling case for dismissal or reduction of charges.

Mitigating Penalties

Even if dismissal is not possible, there are ways to mitigate the penalties associated with passing a stopped school bus:

Defensive Driving Courses

  • Point Reduction: Completing a state-approved defensive driving course can help reduce points on your driving record.
  • Insurance Benefits: Some courses may also help lower your insurance premiums.

Plea Bargains

  • Reduced Charges: Negotiating a plea bargain can result in reduced charges and lower fines.
  • Less Severe Penalties: Plea bargains may also help you avoid more severe penalties, such as jail time or license suspension.

Accidentally passing a stopped school bus in New York is a serious offense with significant penalties. However, with the right approach and legal assistance, you can address the situation effectively and minimize its impact on your life. At the Law Office of Craig Bondy, we are committed to providing legal defense to help you navigate this challenging situation.

Contact Us for Traffic Violation Defense

Facing a ticket for passing a stopped school bus? Don’t handle it alone. Contact the Law Office of Craig Bondy today for a free consultation. Our experienced traffic ticket lawyers are ready to provide the defense you need. Call us now to protect your rights and secure the best possible outcome for your case.




Recent Posts

Call 212-257-8321 to receive a free, no-obligation ticket evaluation from The Law Office of Craig Bondy or reach us by email.

Contact Our team Today

Fields marked with an * are required

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

craig bondy cares. he wants to win as much as you do.

Contact Our Firm

The Law Office of
Craig Bondy

225 Broadway, Room 850
New York, NY 10007
phone: 212-257-8321

Email Us
New York Office

Click Scroll