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Meeting or Overtaking a School Bus

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There is a fine and automatic license suspension for being convicted of or pleading guilty to 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 3345-Meeting or overtaking school bus

By Attorney Elisabeth K.H. Pasqualini, Traffic Violations Attorney, Harrisburg, PA

So, I'm a mother of three kids.  I love my kids, I love other people's kids.  I'm a "soccer mom," except none of them play soccer.  But, that's beside the point.  I'm a safe driver and I pay attention...generally.  But, sometimes, you don't, and in that instant, you have committed an egregious crime for which you will likely pay a hefty fine and perhaps, lose your livelihood. 

You didn't intend to get too close to the bus when it was stopping, it just happened.  You were caught along the side of the bus when it's lights turned red.  You were in the "no man's land" and didn't know if you should just sit there and try to move further out of the way.  Or, you were pulling out at an intersection across from a stopped bus.  You weren't really "passing" the bus, but your vehicle was in motion in the near vicinity that a bus was stopped with it's reds flashing.  The point is, it was an accident and you didn't really know or think at the time.  No one was hurt.  You feel horribly about what happened.

What does "Meeting or Overtaking a School Bus" mean?

Generally, the driver of a vehicle meeting or overtaking any school bus stopped on the highway or trafficway must stop at least 10 feet before reaching the school bus when the red signal lights on the school bus are flashing and the side stop signal arms are activated. Such a driver may not proceed until the flashing red signal lights are no longer actuated. In no event shall a driver of a vehicle resume motion of the vehicle until the school children who may have alighted from the school bus have reached a place of safety. In addition, the driver of a vehicle approaching an intersection at which a school bus is stopped must stop his or her vehicle at that intersection until the flashing red signal lights are no longer actuated. A driver of a vehicle upon a highway or trafficway with separate roadways, however, need not stop upon meeting or passing a school bus with actuated red signal lights which is on a different roadway.  A person failing to adhere to these requirements is guilty of a summary offense, and may, upon conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine. 

Here's the 'Kicker'

A person who violates the law commits a summary offense and shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine of $250.  But, they also receive an automatic 60 day license suspension and 5 points (one point shy of a departmental hearing) on their PA Driver's license.

If you've been cited for Meeting or Overtaking a School Bus, contact a lawyer.  Do not attempt to go into court and explain things to the judge.  After you lose your license, it's too late.  You may contact Shaffer & Engle Law Offices, LLC toll free or email us today.

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