Improper Passing of School Bus (NJSA 39:4-128.1)
What the Law Says: NJSA 39:4-128.1
On a New Jersey undivided highway, when approaching or overtaking a stopped bus that is being used to transport children to or from school or a summer day camp or a school connected activity, a driver must stop at least 25 feet from the bus and wait until all children have entered the bus or safely reached the side of the road, or until the bus is no longer exhibiting a flashing red light. (The bus driver will exhibit a flashing red light until all children entering or exiting the bus have reached a place of safety.)
Similarly, on a divided highway, a driver must stop and wait when passing a bus from behind. When passing on a divided highway in the opposite direction, a driver must slow to 10 miles per hour until passing the bus and any children that are entering or exiting.
When a school bus is parked at the curb in front of a school, a day camp, or a school connected activity and is receiving or discharging children directly to or from that location, a driver may pass without stopping, but not at a speed above 10 miles per hour.
Pleading guilty to or being convicted of violating NJSA 39:4-128.1 will result in a fine not less than $100, not more than 15 days’ imprisonment or community service, or both for the first offense. For a second offense, you will be sentenced to a fine not less than $250, imprisonment for not more than 15 days, or both.
The Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles may also revoke your license for a violation of NJSA 39:4-128.1 if he or she believes that the facts of your violation justify the revocation.
MVC and Insurance Points
The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission takes improperly passing a school bus very seriously, and doing so will result in five points being added to your driving record. Accumulating 12 points on your record will result in your license being suspended, and getting six points within one three-year period will result in a $150 surcharge (plus $25 for each point over six).
Car insurers in New Jersey use a similar system to determine how much of an insurance risk you are. An addition of five “insurance eligibility points” means that you will be paying increased premiums for at least three years.
I Can Help
If you have been ticketed for failing to stop for a school bus or improperly passing a school bus, New Jersey traffic ticket attorney Dan Matrafajlo can help. I have years of experience defending central New Jersey drivers from charges like these. For a free consultation, please call (908) 248-4404.