G.S. 20-217 Passing a Stopped School Bus

question mark drawing

What is the law on passing a stopped school bus?

§ 20-217.  Motor vehicles to stop for properly marked and designated school buses in certain instances; evidence of identity of driver.

(a)        When a school bus is displaying its mechanical stop signal or flashing red lights and the bus is stopped for the purpose of receiving or discharging passengers, the driver of any other vehicle that approaches the school bus from any direction on the same street, highway, or public vehicular area shall bring that other vehicle to a full stop and shall remain stopped. The driver of the other vehicle shall not proceed to move, pass, or attempt to pass the school bus until after the mechanical stop signal has been withdrawn, the flashing red stoplights have been turned off, and the bus has started to move.

(b)        For the purpose of this section, a school bus includes a public school bus transporting children or school personnel, a public school bus transporting senior citizens under G.S. 115C-243, or a privately owned bus transporting children. This section applies only in the event the school bus bears upon the front and rear a plainly visible sign containing the words “school bus.”

Read more at NCGS 20­-217 

WHAT IS THE SENTENCE AND PUNISHMENT FOR PASSING A STOPPED SCHOOL BUS?

  • First Offense:  If this the first time you have been convicted of passing a stopped school bus then the conviction is a Class 1 Misdemeanor that has mandatory minimum fine of $500.00.
  • Second Offense within 3 years:  If this is the second time you have been convicted of passing a stopped school bus within a three year period then the law requires the revocation of your drivers license for a period of 1 year in addition to certain mandatory fines.
  • Third Offense within 3 years:  If this is the third time within a three year period that you have been convicted of passing a stopped school bus then there is a mandatory permanent revocation of your driver’s license.

HOW DOES PASSING A STOPPED SCHOOL BUS AFFECT MY DRIVERS LICENSE POINTS?

  • Passing a stopped school bus in a commercial vehicle results in 8 drivers license points
  • Passing a stopped school bus in a passenger vehicle results in 5 drivers license points

HOW DOES PASSING A STOPPED SCHOOL BUS AFFECT MY INSURANCE POINTS?

  • Passing a stopped school bus results in 4 insurance points.
  • According to the NC Department of Insurance a conviction of passing a stopped school bus will increase your insurance rates by approximately 80%.

Defense Attorney Jon Welborn is an experienced traffic ticket lawyer with over 10 years of legal experience primarily focusing on the areas of criminal and traffic ticket defense. If you have been charged with a criminal offense, traffic violation, or other speeding ticket then give us a call at 336-751-0207.