What To Do If You Didn’t Stop for a School Bus [Accidentally]

(Last Updated On: June 17, 2023)

The sight of a bus stop in its Stop with the arm extended and the lights flashing is one we have all seen before.

The bus may take children off or walk through the bus’s vicinity, and stopping the bus is essential to ensure security.

We all know this sign, either in our morning commutes to work or after-school runs. The bus provides a clear signal to stop, but what happens if you don’t notice the lights or signs?

A school bus stopped for a stop can result in the issuance of a fine or jail time. In Wisconsin, the punishment is a fine ranging from $30 to $300; up to 4 points are added to the driving history.

In Indiana, you can face an even more severe penalty of up to $10,000 and 60 days in prison. As you will see, there are many possible penalties, so read to learn more about other states.

School Bus Laws

All towns and cities have laws that specify how vehicles should work and schools’ buses.

This is because schools are everywhere, and children must be transported between school and school activities.

Having clear laws to protect children fascinated by buses is essential because they stop so often. Children are only sometimes on guard and could be able to run into the road without no paying attention to traffic while taking off or getting taken off of the bus.

To safeguard children, one must understand and observe the rules about school buses. There are many different rules about the penalties for a school bus, based on the state. Here are a few of the most important.


Texas has similar laws as other states. But, it is a state with an expensive fine.

Make a stop for the school bus when the stop sign is extended, or light bulbs flash in red.

A car doesn’t have to stop if it’s moving on the opposite side of the median.

If you violate the school bus rules, you could face a fine of as high as $1250.00.

You could be penalized as high as $1250.00 if you violate the school bus regulations. The fine will only be lifted if you attend defensive driving courses.


Minnesota, as well as other states, has laws about school buses that we’ll list.

Drivers must be stopped at least 20ft from a school bus when their red lights are illuminated or with their stop arm extended.

That is the case for drivers in both directions when the road is unidirectional. Drivers can continue for school buses on the opposite side of a unidirectional highway.

Every driver should check for and stop to watch for pedestrians who cross the street corner, whether it is a designated crosswalk or not.

Drivers who fail to stop to wait for the school bus will be subject to a $500 fine.

New Mexico

New Mexico has a harsh sentence in jail for violating its laws of stopping school buses.

Drivers must stop at least 10 feet from the Stop for a school bus.

Drivers are forbidden from moving until buses’ signals are turned off, or the school bus is driven until the driver has signaled otherwise. bus driver.

What To Do If You Didn’t Stop for a School Bus

The violation is regarded as an offense of misdemeanor with the possibility of a fine of up $300 and a potential sentence that could last between 90 and 90 days.

Besides, six points will be added to your record for driving.


Colorado has laws that address Stops for a school bus for:

Drivers must make a stop 20 feet away from every school bus.

Drivers can only resume their movement once the bus’s lights are on again.

Fines for violators can range from $150 to $300, ranging from $150 to $300, and possibly a prison sentence of 10 and 90 days.

A second offense within 5 years of an earlier offense could result in a fine ranging from $300-$1,000 and a possible jail sentence of 10 days to one year.

Furthermore, any violations could result in the imposition of six points on your driver’s record.


School bus regulations in Ohio differ from other states’ laws in that opposing traffic has to stop to accommodate a school bus.

Drivers from all directions must stand at least 10 feet from a school bus that is stopped when they travel on a no more 4 lanes roadway.

The bus is not required to be extended by a stop signal to stop traffic. The bus may use flashing red lights on its own.

If a driver is on a highway with more than four lanes, the only cars going parallel to the direction of the school bus should stop to allow the bus.

The traffic that is Stopped for a school bus may be able to move once the bus is moving again or when the bus driver waves traffic.

The rules for buses operating on divided highways are identical to those applicable to roads with four or more lanes.

Drivers who break Ohio’s school bus regulations could be penalized $500 and get their license suspended.

Drivers who violate school bus laws must attend an appearance in court.


The punishment for crashing the school bus in Mississippi is very severe. Let’s first review the rules of the state of Mississippi.

Drivers must stop at least 10 feet from the stopped school bus.

A driver cannot continue to drive until all children have crossed the highway or street and the bus is moving on or until the stop sign has been removed and the lights are turned off.

The penalty for a first-time offense is a fine between $350-$750 and up to a year in prison sentence.

Second offenses in the five years are punishable by paying a fine ranging from $750 to $1,500 and the possibility of a one-year prison sentence.

New York

New York has strict laws about the way that cars interact with buses. We have listed the most critical rules below.

Just 20 feet from the bus whenever it’s flashing red lights.

Stop for the bus, even if traveling towards the reverse on a divided road. Many States do not need drivers to stop in this manner.

But be aware that this will be the case for New York, and you may be ticketed or even jailed if you don’t follow the law.

Bus drivers can let you go through with a blinking red light. But ensure the driver has signaled to let you pass; otherwise, you’ll be breaking the law.

The penalty for violating traffic laws for school buses ranges from $250 to $400 for a first-time offense.

Additionally, you’ll receive five points for the crime on your driver’s license and omit thirty days of jail.


Indiana does not have any specific regulations for the passing of school buses. But, there are some severe sentences.

The act of boarding a school bus is a violation that can result in a fine of up to $10,000 and the possibility of up to 60 consecutive days in prison.

Also, most of the eight points can be added to your driving record.

New Jersey

New Jersey school bus laws need a longer stopping distance. They also have the potential prison time for violations, as New York does.

If a bus operates with the stop signal extended or flashing red lights on, ensure you are within a minimum of 25ft of the vehicle.

There is no need to wait for the school bus if you’re on the other part of the median.

If you pass buses and are on the opposite edge of the median, you can only travel at a maximum speed of 10.

What To Do If You Didn’t Stop for a School Bus

Suppose you are the first person to violate the laws. In that case, you’ll receive a $100 fine, up to 15 consecutive days of prison, and 15 days of community service.

Additionally, you’ll be assessed 5 points added to your driver’s license. In the event of further violations, the fine could increase to $250.


Connecticut has strict laws regarding buses with severe penalties, even for first-time offenders.

Motorists must stop at least 10 feet from a bus with flashing red lights. It applies to vehicles that come from any direction. Drivers are required to prevent until the flashing red lights cease.

Drivers at intersections cannot turn towards the bus when students are on or offboarding.

The punishment for violating traffic rules in Connecticut can range from a $500-$1000 fine and up to 30 days in prison. Additionally, four points can get added to the motorist’s license.


Wisconsin has a lower penalty for a school bus driver caught in the crosswalk than many states. Here are the rules specific to the state of Wisconsin.

Drivers must be able to stop at least 20 feet from an unstoppable school bus.

Busses shouldn’t be driven until they are in motion or until signals have stopped working.,

The penalty in the state of Delaware is a fine between $30-$300 and 4 points on your driving record.

Basic Safety

Remember the basic steps to ensure you don’t pass the school bus again. First of all, school buses are slow and make frequent stoppages.

It’s, thus, essential to be patient and not be reckless when trying to speed up or pass the school bus.

Ensure you are aware of the actions of other drivers and maintain a safe distance from the school bus.

Keep at least three car lengths from a school bus when you drive behind it. If you’re on a road that has the speed limit set at high, extend the distance.

Be cautious when driving on school buses. Avoid driving aggressively regardless of how much of a rush you’re in. Be aware of the vehicles in your vicinity that may need to follow the correct safety precautions.

Be sure to continue taking precautions regardless of when the bus stops moving. Children are still within the vicinity. Thus, they may wander into the street.


A school bus’s passing is considered a serious offense with severe penalties. The law doesn’t differentiate between whether the incident was accidental or deliberate.

It is essential to be cautious while driving around school buses and when dismissal time approaches. It is not just about avoiding fines and preventing a fatal accident.


What happens if an NC school bus is stopped?

The first offense/violation of the passing a school bus stopped statute is a Class 1 Misdemeanor with a minimum $500 fine. A second offense could result in a one-year license suspension. You will also be subject to a 5-point insurance penalty, which can significantly increase your rates.

What happens if a school bus passes you in Virginia?

Reckless driving is passing a stopped school bus in Virginia, under Va. Code. SS46.2-859. It is a Class 1 Misdemeanor. You could be sentenced to up to 12 months imprisonment, a $2,500 fine, court costs, suspension of your driver’s license for 60 days to 6 months, and 6 DMV deterrent points.

Is passing a school bus in Virginia with flashing yellow lights possible?

If yellow lights flash on a school bus, don’t pass it. It is about to stop! Follow the speed limit when driving through school zones. Because many children walk to school, school zones have particular speed limits.

Are school buses equipped with cameras in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania has 26 school districts and more than 1,200 buses that use Bus Patrol stop arm camera technology.

What happens if a school bus passes you in Indiana?

Violators could be fined up to $10,000 and have their license suspended for 90 days or a year for the first offense. Indiana Governor Gary Holt said drivers who speed in school zones or illegally pass school buses should be held responsible.

Can a school bus driver report you for not stopping in PA?

A ticket is quickly issued because school bus drivers have the power to report violations. Here are three things to remember if you have been given access for violating school bus rules.

Is there a fine for riding around on a school bus?

You must stop at least 20 feet from any school bus. A $250 fine is assessed for the first offense. A penalty of $500 to $1000 is evaluated for the second offense and a suspension of your license for six months. A third or subsequent offense results in a $1,000 to $2,000 fine and a one-year license suspension.

Is it against the law to drive a school bus around?

A school bus loading or unloading children must be stopped at least 30 feet away. It is illegal in all 50 states to pass a school bus loading or unloading students. Always be ready to stop if lights flash.