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Not being able to stop a school bus that’s stopped or slowing down may not seem like a big deal when you’re pressed for time. However, ignoring state laws regarding stopping a school bus can have serious consequences, including harming an innocent child on their way to or from school.
Violations of school bus laws can result in tickets, fines and other penalties, such as points on your license or license suspension. It can also affect car insurance rates.
According to a Forbes Advisor analysis, drivers who get a ticket for failing to stop for a school bus pay an average of 29% more in car insurance, or about $500 more per year.
However, it’s important to note that your car insurance premiums for failing to stop a school bus can vary depending on factors such as your car insurance company, where you live, your age and your driving history.
If you recently received a ticket for failing to stop for a school bus, read on to find out how it will affect your car insurance rates and other penalties you should be aware of.
How Does Passing a School Bus Illegally Affect Car Insurance?
Unauthorized passing by a school bus that is currently stopped or planned to stop will not affect your insurance rates alone. You will only see your rates increase if you are caught, and if you receive a ticket or fine for violating school bus safety laws in your area.
From there, the consequences can vary depending on your country and how your insurance company handles violations. Many states place a number of “points” on your driver’s license after you commit a violation.
Car insurance companies have the right to increase your insurance rates during renewal if they believe that the number of points you have written will increase your insurance coverage. So you’re more likely to see your auto rates increase for a school bus moving violation, just like you would for a speeding ticket or any other minor or minor violation.
Car Insurance Costs Increase After Failing to Stop a School Bus, by Company
We analyzed rates from 13 major auto insurance companies for school bus ticketed drivers and found that:
- While the average increase was as high as 51%, depending on the company, the average increase for all insurers we analyzed was 29%.
- Across the country there is the lowest annual premium for those with a school bus pass, although the average rate was 26%.
- The national average ($1,454 per year) for drivers who violate school bus laws is about $1,072 compared to Allstate ($2,526 per year).
Average Car Insurance Rates Increase By State After Failing To Stop A School Bus
Based on our analysis:
- New York City drivers have the lowest rate at just 9%.
- North Carolina drivers have been hit with the largest increase at 82%.
Why You Shouldn’t Pass the School Bus
If you are caught passing a school bus, you will receive a ticket for failure to stop for the school bus. Unfortunately, the consequences can be very harmful—and even fatal—for some.
The truth is, state school bus laws exist to protect children and young people when they get off the bus to and from school. Passing a stopped (or stopped) bus with its lights on and its stop arm extended can cause accidents and injuries that can be avoided by slowing down and obeying the law.
Penalties for Passing a School Bus
School bus passing tickets should be a punishment for putting children’s lives in danger, and a warning not to do it again. Some countries impose strict penalties on drivers who commit this offense.
Here are some examples of penalties for passing a school bus.
Penalties in California
According to California Vehicle Code 22454, drivers in the state may not pass school bus stops displaying flashing red signals and a stop arm. They can continue when the lights stop flashing and the stop arm stops working.
Drivers caught passing a stopped bus can be fined up to $695. They will also receive one point on their California driving record.
Penalties in Florida
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles states that the minimum penalty for driving a school bus on the side of the school bus while the bus is displaying a stop sign is $400. Also, a driver who violates this law twice within five years can have their license suspended for two years.
Other penalties may include the requirement to complete a Driver Improvement Course upon conviction and four points on the offender’s record.
Penalties in New York
New York drivers could also face severe penalties for passing a stopped school bus—with its flashing red lights—while dropping off or picking up passengers.
According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), a first offense can result in a fine of $250 to $400 and up to 30 days in jail. A second conviction within three years can result in an additional fine of $600 to $750 and up to 180 days in jail.
A third offense (or more) within three years can result in an additional fine of $750 to $1,000 per violation and an additional 180 days in jail.
Furthermore, five points are added to the driver’s record for each conviction, which can have a significant impact on auto insurance rates.
Penalties in Pennsylvania
There are several guidelines for Pennsylvania drivers to follow when it comes to school bus safety. For example, drivers in the state must stop when:
- They arrive at a school bus whose red lights flash and stop
- He is behind the bus, approaching the bus or approaching the intersection where the bus is stopped and its red lights are flashing and extend the stop arm.
Drivers must remain seated until the red light stops flashing and the stop arm is removed. Violators of Pennsylvania school bus laws can receive a $250 fine and five points on their driving record. They can also suspend their driver’s license for 60 days.
Penalties in Texas
In Texas, drivers are required to stop when approaching a school bus that has flashing red signs on the front or rear. They can continue when the lights stop flashing or receive a signal from the driver that there is no problem.
Drivers who violate school bus laws in Texas face fines of up to $1,250 for the first offense. Repeat offenders can have their driver’s license suspended for up to six months.
Criminal charges can be filed if the violation results in serious injury, and a ticket for passing a school bus will not be dismissed if the driver takes a safety course.
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