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School bus traffic violation laws may change in Pennsylvania

On Behalf of | Oct 5, 2023 | Criminal Defense, Traffic Violations

Drivers are expected to adjust their driving to minimize the chance of an auto accident involving a school bus. When they break the law, they are stopped and given a traffic citation.

Despite that, simply because a driver is alleged to have committed a traffic violation does not necessarily mean it is true. Drivers need to be cognizant of their rights to fight the charges.

Bill would worsen consequences for school bus violations

The Pennsylvania State Senate has passed a bill that would make school bus traffic violation consequences worse. The objective would be to raise the financial penalties, give enhanced penalties to those who have repeatedly violated the law and discourage drivers from behaving recklessly when sharing the road with a school bus.

Drivers are required to stop when the school bus has its red flashers on and the stop arm extended. The stop must be made a minimum of 10 feet from the school bus. Drivers cannot proceed until the flashing lights are deactivated, the arm is retracted and children are safe.

As of now, drivers are fined $250 for breaking the law. It is $300 if the lights were flashing when passing. There will be five points on the driver’s license and the license is suspended for 60 days. The new law would make the distance 15 feet instead of 10.

Drivers also should be aware that there are certain months when more citations are handed out for school bus safety violations. From 2018 to 2022, the most citations given were in October at 15%. September and March were next at 14% and 11% respectively.

Drivers can and should fight traffic violations

For people who do not think traffic violations can negatively impact their future, they need to know that losing driving privileges can hinder attempts to get certain jobs and be able to work; points on a license likely increase insurance rates; and the cost of the ticket can be substantial.  Since the punishments can be costly personally, professionally and financially, it is imperative to explore all the available avenues to try and fight the citation.