Higher Penalty Likely for Passing a Stopped School Bus in New York

School Bus Ticket in New York - Traffic Lawyer


Higher Penalty Likely for Passing a Stopped School Bus in New York

The New York State legislature is considering increasing the penalties for passing a stopped school bus. In addition to existing fines, fees, and penalties, drivers will have their licenses suspended for an automatic 60 days if convicted of the offense two or more times in a 10-year period. The measure has passed the Senate and now goes to the Assembly for consideration.

The penalties for passing a stopped school bus are already severe. Depending on the number of traffic violations on record, fines can reach up to $1,000 and possible imprisonment up to 180 days. At the end of the suspension period, an additional $50 or $100 suspension termination fee is assessed.

The fine includes 5 points on the license for each violation as well. The license points for passing a stopped school bus can lead to significant financial issues. If a driver receives 6 or more points on a license within an 18-month window, a Driver Responsibility Assessment fee is incurred.

For example, if a driver receives a school bus citation under the proposed penalty--5 points--a single speeding ticket for traveling just 10 miles an hour over the limit--3 more points--will immediately place the license above 6 points. The assessment  fees are $100 per year for three years, plus another $25 per point, per year for each point over 6. Points remain on a license for 18 months, but will always remain on the driver’s record, which can have increased insurance cost ramifications as well.

A Suspended License Penalty Is A Driving Enforcement Strategy

Because driving is such a critical need for everyone's living, state law often turns to revoking or suspending licenses to enforce traffic laws or pressure drivers to comply with laws that actually have nothing to do with driving. New York City traffic attorneys have been working these type of cases for years to ensure fairness for drivers who may have mitigating circumstances.

Under New York State law, a driver’s license can be suspended for a number of reasons. Some situations are not surprising, for instance when a driver:

  • did not answer a traffic ticket or pay a fine

  • did not file a motor vehicle accident report when appropriate

  • did not have automobile liability insurance

  • accumulated a certain number of traffic tickets

Other instances are intended to force a driver to comply with issues unrelated to driving:

  • failure to pay child support

  • failure to pay New York State taxes

  • conviction of certain alcohol- or drug-related offenses

  • a medical condition that might create unsafe driving

The Difference Between a Suspended and Revoked License

Some suspended licenses issues are easily rectified. Paying outstanding fines or catching up on child support payments can be enough to reinstate a driving privilege. Other violations need the experience of traffic attorneys to work through the complexity of the DMV, the court system, and the laws.

For instance, under New York State law, a driver can have a license suspended or revoked, which are two very different situations. A suspended license means a license is still valid, but temporarily suspended for a period of time. Usually the driver has to perform some task--pay a fee, for instance--and wait out the penalty period. A revoked license, however, cancels the license, meaning the driver no longer has the right to drive.

The only way to regain a license that has been revoked is to apply for a new one. A revoked license is much harder to restore, and a traffic attorney might be the only option to remedy it. The DMV does not have to grant a new license either if it deems the driver has an unsafe record.

Whether a license is suspended or revoked, the consequences can be dramatic and devastating. For many people, driving is the only means for them to travel for work, take care of their children, or handle medical needs. Drivers risk losing their jobs or being able to secure a new job if they can’t drive. The issue can also have stressful ripple effects for friends and family who either rely on the driver for help or who try to assist the driver with driving during the suspension period.

Getting Legal Advice for A Suspended License

New York traffic attorneys understand the situations in which a suspended or revoked licenses can be fought. With the number of overlapping laws involved, they can often find ways to reduce points and penalties or even keep a license from being suspended entirely. For instance, in some cases  the court system might permit a hardship license (called a restricted or conditional license) that allows the driver to drive under specific circumstances, such as to and from work or to medical appointments. Every case is different, and traffic attorneys have experience with the best strategies for a given situation.

If you receive a traffic violation and you pay the fine, you admit guilt to the traffic charge. Before doing so, drivers should at least consult with a New York traffic lawyer to understand the best course of action. Due to the costs and difficulties of maintaining a regular life, you should try to reduce driving penalties whenever possible. The court system does recognize that mistakes can be made and sometimes a plea deal can be accomplished to reduce the damage.




With our 60 years of combined experience working with the New York Legal System and Most NY Traffic Courts,  our team of local NYC traffic lawyers will defend your tickets saving you money and time.  We will aggressively contest your violations and seek to reduce your sentence, lower fines, and avoid getting points in order to prevent suspension or revocation of your license as well as increased insurance premiums

Michael Beer