Meeting or Overtaking a School Bus
School Bus Violation Lawyer West Chester
Defending citations for Passing or Overtaking a School Bus in Pennsylvania. You may have been distracted or did not have the opportunity to stop, or did not realize that you were required to stop for a bus in the opposite direction several lanes away on a divided or semi-divided road. Or perhaps you are the unsuspecting victim of an over vigilant police officer or bus driver with unreasonable expectations or a chip on shoulder.
Many drivers who receive tickets for passing school buses are stunned to learn that they broke the law. There are a number of situations in which it can be unclear what is required of a motorist, and several people are cited despite having proceeded with complete caution.
It is illegal in Pennsylvania to pass or overtake a school bus when the red lights are on and the arm is out. You must stop when you meet or overtake a school bus with its lights flashing. You must stop when you approach an intersection where a school bus is stopped. You must stop at least 10 feet away from the bus, wait until the lights stop flashing and all children have cleared the roadway before moving.
Any driver who illegally passes a stopped school bus in Pennsylvania can face severe penalties, including fines and suspension of driving privileges. Because Pennsylvania’s “School Bus Stopping Law” involves the safety of children, police and judges alike take them very seriously.
West Chester School Bus Violations Lawyer
If you have received a citation for passing a school bus in Pennsylvania, it is in your best interest to seek legal counsel. Do not attempt to dispute the charges by yourself. Ciccarelli Law Offices has successfully handled scores of school bus traffic violations such as these, and our firm fights to appeal orders of suspension from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT).
Our Chester County meeting or overtaking school bus attorneys also represent clients in Lancaster County, Montgomery County, Delaware County, and Philadelphia County. Let us review your case by calling (610) 692-8700 right now to schedule a free consultation.
Avoiding the Mistake of Paying the Ticket
A Highway stop followed by an Overtaking or Passing a School Bus can have serious ramifications on your Pennsylvania Drivers License. Now is the time to speak with an aggressive Traffic Violations Attorney to discuss you rights, your options and the benefit of an attorney. Listen: a conviction for passing or overtaking a school bus comes with a Sixty (60) day loss of drivers license privileges, 250.00 fine and five (5) points on your record. Contact us 24/7 at (610) 925-2500 or toll free (877) 529-2422 to learn of your rights and learn of the severe penalties that comes with paying the fine or being found guilty of a Pennsylvania School bus Violation.By retaining an experienced traffic attorney, such as the West Chester PA, Chester County lawyers at Ciccarelli Law Offices, you may be able to waive your appearance in court, saving you time and aggravation, while a member of our firm represents you.
Knowing to Fight Serious Traffic Violations in Chester County Pennsylvania
It is important to realize that some traffic violations are more serious than others. In Pennsylvania, a plea to Overtaking A School Bus comes with a sixty (60) day suspension of your operating privileges. There is no clear exception to drive during that period of suspension. Paying the fine to driving on a suspended license or driving while operators privilege is suspended will likely result in a suspension of your drivers privileges for one year or more. Get representation when your license could be jeopardy. Speak to a member of our legal team to discuss your options.
§ 3345. Meeting or overtaking school bus.(a) Duty of approaching driver when red signals are
flashing.–Except as provided in subsection (g), the driver of a
vehicle meeting or overtaking any school bus stopped on a
highway or trafficway shall stop at least ten feet before
reaching the school bus when the red signal lights on the school
bus are flashing and the side stop signal arms are activated
under section 4552(b.1) (relating to general requirements for
school buses). The driver shall not proceed until the flashing
red signal lights are no longer actuated. In no event shall a
driver of a vehicle resume motion of the vehicle until the
school children who may have alighted from the school bus have
reached a place of safety. The driver of a vehicle approaching
an intersection at which a school bus is stopped shall stop his
vehicle at that intersection until the flashing red signal
lights are no longer actuated.
(a.1) Reports by school bus operators.–
(1) The operator of a school bus who observes a
violation of subsection (a) may prepare a signed, written
report which indicates that a violation has occurred. To the
extent possible, the report shall include the following
(i) Information, if any, pertaining to the identity
of the alleged violator.
(ii) The license number and color of the vehicle
involved in the violation.
(iii) The time and approximate location at which the
(iv) Identification of the vehicle as an automobile,
station wagon, motor truck, motor bus, motorcycle or
other type of vehicle.
(2) Within 48 hours after the violation occurs, the
school bus operator shall deliver a copy of the report to a
police officer having authority to exercise police power in
the area where the violation occurred. If the police officer
believes that the report establishes a sufficient basis for
the issuance of a citation, the officer shall file a citation
and the report with the issuing authority. If the issuing
authority determines that the report and citation establish a
sufficient basis for the issuance of a summons, a summons
shall be issued in accordance with general rules governing
the institution of proceedings in summary traffic offense
cases. The issuing authority shall send the defendant a copy
of the citation, together with a statement that it was filed
by the police officer named in the citation on the basis of
(3) A person may institute a proceeding pursuant to this
subsection or in accordance with any means authorized by the
Rules of Criminal Procedure.
(b) Duty of approaching driver when amber signals are
flashing.–The driver of a vehicle meeting or overtaking any
school bus shall proceed past the school bus with caution and
shall be prepared to stop when the amber signal lights are
(c) Use of red signals.–The red visual signals shall be
actuated by the driver of every school bus whenever the vehicle
is stopped on a highway or trafficway for the purpose of
receiving or discharging school children, except as provided in
subsections (e) and (f). The signals shall not be terminated
until the school children who may have alighted from the school
bus have reached a place of safety or until boarding school
children have completed boarding the bus.
(d) Use of amber signals.–The amber visual signals shall be
actuated by the driver of every school bus not more than 300
feet nor less than 150 feet prior to making a stop for the
purpose of receiving or discharging school children and shall
remain in operation until the red visual signals are actuated.
Amber signals shall not be used unless the red visual signals
are to be actuated immediately following.
(e) Limitations on use of signals.–The visual signals
required in the regulations shall not be actuated on streets in
urban districts designated by the department or local
authorities, at intersections or other places where traffic is
controlled by uniformed police officers or appropriately attired
persons authorized to direct, control or regulate traffic, or in
school bus loading areas designated by the department or local
authorities when the bus is entirely off the roadway.
(f) Operation for nonschool purposes.–When a school bus is
being operated upon a highway for purposes other than the actual
transportation of school children to or from school or in
connection with school activities, all markings indicating
“SCHOOL BUS” shall be covered or concealed. During such
operation, the flashing visual signals shall not be actuated.
(f.1) Use of school buses for transportation of disabled
persons.–Whenever a school bus is being used upon a highway or
trafficway for the transportation of disabled persons
exclusively and the school bus is equipped with red signal
lights, the driver of the school bus may actuate the signal
lights in the same manner as set forth in this section regarding
the transportation of school children. The driver of a vehicle
approaching the school bus shall have the same duties regarding
stopping, passing and overtaking as he does with respect to a
school bus carrying school children.
(g) Exceptions from stopping requirements.–The driver of a
vehicle upon a highway or trafficway with separate roadways need
not stop upon meeting or passing a school bus with actuated red
signal lights which is on a different roadway.
(h) Loading zones for school children.–Every school
district transporting school children by school bus shall
establish and maintain school bus loading zones at or near all
schools to or from which school children are transported and
shall establish school bus loading zones along the highways and
trafficways traversed by school buses in accordance with
regulations promulgated by the department.
(i) Mandatory use of loading zones.–Whenever school bus
loading zones have been established at or near a school or along
a highway or trafficway, it is unlawful for a school bus
operator to stop the bus to pick up or discharge school children
at any location other than at the loading zones. A list of
approved loading zones for the route of the bus shall be carried
by the operator.
(j) Penalty.–A person who violates subsection (a) or (f.1)
commits a summary offense and shall, upon conviction, be
sentenced to pay a fine of $250.00
Pennsylvania Meeting or Overtaking a School Bus Overview
- How does a person get ticketed for this offense?
- Are there situations in which drivers do not have to stop for school buses?
- What are the consequences of being convicted or just pleading guilty?
Meeting or Overtaking a School Bus Law in Chester County
Pennsylvania Consolidated Statute Title 75 § 3345 states that drivers meeting or overtaking any stopped school buses must stop at least 10 feet before reaching the school buses when their red signal lights are flashing and the side stop signal arms are activated. Drivers cannot proceed until the flashing red signal lights are no longer actuated.
For the purposes of this statute, these terms are defined as follows:
- Meeting a School Bus — This is when a driver is in the opposite lane facing the school bus.
- Overtaking a School Bus — This is when a driver is behind the school bus and passing it in the same direction of travel.
Keep in mind that police do not have to observe these violations in order for drivers to be ticketed. Rather, a school bus driver prepares a signed, written report indicating the violation occurred. The operator of the school bus then delivers a copy of the report to a police officer who has authority to exercise police power in the area where the violation occurred.
The report is supposed to include as much of the following types of information as possible:
- Information, if any, pertaining to the identity of the alleged violator
- The license number and color of the vehicle involved in the violation
- The time and approximate location at which the violation occurred
- Identification of the vehicle as an automobile, station wagon, motor truck, motor bus, motorcycle or other type of vehicle
If the police officer believes that this report establishes a sufficient basis to issue a citation, he or she will file a citation and the report with the issuing authority. If the issuing authority determines that the report and citation establish a sufficient basis for the issuance of a summons, a summons shall be issued and a copy of the citation will be sent to the alleged offender.
When Drivers Do Not Have to Stop in Meeting or Overtaking a School Bus in West Chester
There can often be confusion among drivers as to whether or not they are required to stop in certain situations, such as when they are entering intersections or at four-way stops. In general, it is best to remember that all vehicles are required to stop 10 feet away when red lights are flashing and none can move until all children aboard have reached a place of safety.
However, there are two situations in which vehicles may be permitted to proceed past school buses:
- Amber Signals — When the amber signals of a school bus are flashing, drivers meeting or overtaking the bus are allowed to proceed past the bus with caution. However, they must be prepared to stop as amber visual signals are only used when the red visual signals are actuated immediately afterward. Amber signals are actuated by school bus drivers within 150 feet and 300 feet of stops.
- Separate Roadways — Drivers are allowed to proceed on highways with clearly defined dividing sections or physical barriers providing separate roadways when a school bus is on the opposite side of the road. Examples of such physical barriers include trees, shrubs, rocks, boulders, concrete medians, or guard rails.
Pennsylvania Penalties for Meeting or Overtaking a School Bus
A motorist who is convicted of violating Pennsylvania’s School Bus Stopping Law faces a number of punishments that can have immediate and possibly long-term impact. The consequences include:
- 60-day suspension of driver’s license
- Five points added to alleged offender’s PennDOT driving record
- $250 fine
It is important to remember that any driver who accumulates six points on his or her record for the first time is required by PennDOT to take a special written point examination. Failure to pass the exam within 30 days will result in a driver’s license being suspended until the exam is passed.
If it is the second time a driver has accumulated six points, he or she will have to attend a Departmental Hearing at which PennDOT may order a 15 day license suspension, order a special on-road driver’s examination, or take no action. If a motorist fails to attend the hearing, his or her license will be suspended for 60 days.
If it is the third time or more that a driver has accumulated six points, he or she will also have to attend a Departmental hearing at which PennDOT will then determine if a 30-day license suspension will be initiated. If a motorist fails to attend the hearing, his or her license will be suspended until he or she attends the hearing.
Find a Meeting or Overtaking a School Bus Lawyer in West Chester
Have you received a ticket in the mail for illegally passing a school bus in Pennsylvania? Even if it doesn’t seem like it will cost much to simply pay the citation, remember that doing so is essentially the same as pleading guilty—and this can have enormous consequences for you later on.
Ciccarelli Law Offices helps people accused of violating Pennsylvania’s School Bus Stopping Law in West Chester, Coatesville, West Goshen, Easttown, West Caln, Phoenixville, and the greater Philadelphia area. You can have our Chester County meeting or overtaking school bus attorneys review your case when you call (610) 692-8700 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.
Contact a School Bus Violation Lawyer in Chester CountyPassing A School Bus Charges: If you have questions about Passing A School Bus Charges, learn more, get legal advice and the legal representation you need from our experienced team of School bus traffic lawyers. Contact our criminal defense lawyers today by email or call us at (610) 692-8700.
We are based in 304 North High Street, West Chester PA, we serve Downingtown, Exton, Paoli, Media, Norristown, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Lebanon, Reading and Allentown, Kennett Square, and Philadelphia. For more information or to schedule an appointment with an experienced Pennsylvania Traffic Attorney at Ciccarelli Law Offices, by contacting us at (610) 692-8700 or toll free at (877) 529-2422.