STOP! Don’t Pass that School Bus

The bright yellow school buses are hard to miss. And sure, they bring back fond memories of our childhood. But those memories quickly fade when you get stuck behind a bus when you’re running late to a big meeting or an important appointment. It can be tempting to pass it, but doing so leads to fines, possible jail time, and damage your driving record.

 What you Need to Know 

You probably remember from driver’s ed. that you need to stop for a school bus, but you probably don’t remember the exact rules of that law. So, here’s what you need to know when it comes to driving around school buses:

  • Never pass a bus with flashing red lights.
  • When approaching a stopped school bus, you must stop no less than 25 feet away from the bus. You may not move until the bus’s flashing red lights have stopped. 
  • You also must stop at least 25 feet away if you are traveling on a two-lane road or highway where lanes are only separated by painted lines
  • If traveling on the opposite side of the highway separated with a raised median or safety island, you do not have to stop but you must slow down to 10 mph.
  • School buses are equipped with amber and red flashing lights. The amber lights flash before the bus stops and the red lights go on when the bus has stopped. If you are driving behind a bus that is slowing down and the lights do not come on, you are still required to stop!


  • A fine of at least $100, or a minimum of $250 for repeat offenses
  • Up to 5 points on your driver’s license
  • Up to 15 days in jail or community service

It is important to note that if you accrue six or more points within a three-year period, you will be required to pay a surcharge. If at any time you have twelve points on your record, the motor vehicle commission will suspend your license.

If you have received a ticket for improper passing of a school bus, we urge you to contact an experienced attorney to limit your exposure to the penalties. As your attorney, we may be able to have the charges reduced so you can avoid points on your license. Contact us at Zapicchi & Liller immediately to receive expert assistance from our experienced and highly trained attorneys who have successfully litigated hundreds of similar cases. (609) 291-9500