In Connecticut and all other states in the United States, you must stop your car completely when approaching a school bus that is pulled over on the side of the road. Failure to do so may result violating Connecticut General Statute Section 14-279 and a police giving you a steep citation.
Read the facts below to learn why you should speak with a lawyer regarding your school bus ticket. These school bus tickets are two-fold. First, if you plead guilty to the ticket by paying it through the mail, you will automatically get a 4 point penalty from the Connecticut DMV. Secondly, the fines can increase drastically after your first offense.
When Do You Stop For School Buses?
If the bus is stopped and has its flashing red lights turned on with the extended stop light sign, all motorists behind the vehicle must come to a complete stop. Also, your car must be at least 200 feet from the back of the school bus unless you were stationed directly behind the bus prior to the red lights turning on and children getting on and off the bus. You may continue to drive after the children have gotten either on or off the bus and the red lights stop flashing.
It’s important to note that the red light flashing must be kept on by the school bus operator when children and entering and exiting the school bus unless there is a traffic officer controlling traffic.
If a school bus is on the opposing side of the divided highway, you aren’t required to stop your vehicle. However, you must come to a stop even if the school bus is on the opposite side of the road. When the school bus flashes yellow lights, it is a warning that you need to slow down and get ready to stop your vehicle.
Defenses to School Bus Tickets in Connecticut
In Connecticut, if you received a school bus citation from a police officer for having your car less than 200 feet from a stopped signaled school bus, you can plead that the bus driver didn’t have the appropriate red lights flashing until your vehicle was too close. If you have a medical emergency and need to pass respectively, you can also argue that you used a safety first approach in your decision to pass the school bus.
If the bus driver didn’t properly show the flashing red lights and extended stop sign while unloading children, you may also have another defense for you school bus ticket. The school bus operator may have signaled the red flashing lights while no children were moving on and off the bus. In this case, you should mention all details of the matter including the vehicle code violation, and what exactly the school bus driver did to a professional Connecticut lawyer specializing in school bus tickets. The bus driver needs to be held accountable for maintaining proper procedure.
Why Not Just Plead Guilty and Send School Bus Ticket by Mail?
When you get a ticket for passing a school bus in Connecticut, it violates Connecticut General Statute Section 14-279. This specific statute notes that a vehicle must stop their vehicle 10 feet or more from the red flashing school bus.
Compared to other motor vehicle tickets, the fines for this infraction are more serious due to the fact that your violation involves children’s safety. For the first offense, your fine can range from $100.00 – $500.00. If you get a second charge, your fine can range within $500.00 – $1000.00 and possibly a jail sentence of 30 days. Yes, you can get time in jail for a school bus violation.
So DMV points, huge penalties and fines and possibly jail time may not be what you are looking for if you don’t speak with a lawyer prior to settling your citation. You want to avoid pleading guilty if you believe you were falsely accused of violating the school bus law. And lastly, your insurance premiums for your vehicle may increase by your guilty plea to the ticket.
Contact Us Today to Fight Your Connecticut School Bus Stop Sign Ticket
If you were caught by the Connecticut police officer for passing a stopped school bus, you can face serious penalties and fines and increase your auto insurance premiums. The next step is to speak with an experienced Connecticut speeding ticket lawyer. We at The Connecticut Ticket Defenders are here to help and can answer your questions and get you on the right track to getting back into your daily life.