Many motorists are under the impression that traffic tickets are not a big deal. People think that if they get a ticket and pay the fine, life goes on. But this is not always the case. Being cited with a ticket one too many times could lead to devastating penalties that could jeopardize a motorist's driving privileges, cause insurance rates to skyrocket and eventually lead to a jail sentence.
Some moving and non-moving violations in Pennsylvania's Vehicle Code are more serious than others. The violation of failing to stop for a stopped school bus - 75 Pa. Cons. Stat § 3345(a) - is considered a serious traffic offense in the state, as the commission of this crime puts children at risk of being harmed. This is the reason why this infraction, even if violated for the first time, will inevitably result in harsh consequences.
If you have been recently ticketed for this offense, don't hesitate to consult with a traffic attorney. A legal professional will be able to guide you through the process of adequately handling this ticket to minimize the severity of the penalties you are facing.
Illegal Passing of a School Bus in Pennsylvania
Under Pennsylvania law, motorists are required to stop at least 10 feet from a stopped school bus with red flashing lights. The lights signify that the bus in the process of picking up or dropping off school children or people with disabilities. Motorists are only permitted to pass a school bus when the lights on the bus have stopped flashing, and the bus is in motion. Any actions that do not align with this law will lead to a traffic citation.
Pennsylvania's Point System
The state's Department of Transportation, PennDOT, documents, and updates the driving record of licensed motorists. When a driver is found guilty of a traffic offense, a number of “points” will be marked on his or her driving record. In the event that a person reaches six points on their record, corrective actions will be taken.
Since a school bus violation is a serious traffic offense, the penalties are much harsher than they would be for a less serious offense. This violation leads to penalties of a 60-day license suspension, even for a first offense. Also, five points will be added to your driving record. If this offense brings you to or over the 6-point mark, penalties such as taking a safe driving course, and an additional license suspension may be imposed.
Philadelphia Traffic Attorney
As you can see, a ticket for illegal passing of a school bus warrants harsh consequences if not handled appropriately. If you have been cited for this traffic offense, you need the help of a skilled attorney to help you avoid these legal repercussions. Contact legal professional Joseph D. Lento today for assistance.