With schools back in session, Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) is reminding drivers to always stop for school buses which are stopped with their red lights flashing.
“School buses put their red lights on to warn drivers that students are getting on or off the bus. Passing a stopped school bus which has its red lights flashing endangers children and is against the law. Drivers can do their part to help keep students safe by always remembering to stop for a school bus,” said Senator Fuschillo, Chairman of the Senate’s Transportation Committee.
State law prohibits drivers from passing a stopped school bus when the large red lights located on top of the bus are flashing. Flashing lights mean the bus is picking up or discharging students.
Drivers must stop for these school buses if they are approaching the bus from the font or overtaking it from the rear. Motorists must always stop for flashing red bus lights under these circumstances, even if they are on a divided or multilane highway or on school grounds.
The penalties for passing a stop school bus are:
• 1st offense: fine between $250-$400, 5 driver license penalty points, and/or up to 30 days in jail;
• 2nd offense within 3 years: fine between $600-$750, 5 driver license penalty points, and/or up to 180 days in jail;
• 3 or more offense within 3 years: fine between $750-$1,000, 5 driver license penalty points, and/or up to 180 days in jail.