September 29, 2020

Penalties for Passing a Stopped School Bus

Early September, we posted 5 Rules for Approaching a Stopped School Bus. We reviewed the rules of the road about when to stop and when to go when encountering a school bus on the highway. According to a national survey, these rules are being violated every day.

In 2019, the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation conducted a nationwide survey to report passing violations. The 39 states participating reported 95,494 passing violations in a single day. South Carolina reported 223.

Convictions are a 6-point violation on your driver’s license and can be proved by onboard video. Cameras are installed in the stop arm of certain school buses to catch rule breakers. The legal penalties add up for multiple violations.

For a first offense, a violator can be fined up to $500.00 or imprisoned up to 30 days. A second or subsequent offense can bring fines of $2,000.00 to $5,000.00 or imprisonment from 30 days to sixty days.

The penalties are greatly enhanced if the violator causes great bodily injury or death. A conviction is a felony, includes a fine of $5,000.00 to $10,000.00, and 60 days to one year in jail. If death results, the fine increases to $10,000.00 to $25,000.00 and imprisonment from one to five years.

Our take: Slow down, pay attention, and stop for school buses.