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Our firm has over 25 years of combined legal practice. Our Philadelphia criminal attorneys have been recognized by the top lawyer ranking services.
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We take on fewer clients than other firms. Each client works 1:1 on with one of our senior attorneys.
Most people know that you cannot pass a school bus that has its flashing red light on, but mistakes can happen. It could be that you simply did not see the bus. There are a number of reasons why you may have kept going and passed the school bus. You might think that you got away with it, as there were no police in the area. That does not stop you from feeling guilty about it and pledging to never do that again, but at least you did not get a citation. That feeling often comes to a crashing halt when you get a citation in the mail a few days after the event. School bus drivers are able to send your license plate number into the police, or there may have been a camera. Whatever the case might be, you now have a traffic citation that you need to deal with.
What is the Big Deal?
Besides the fact that passing a school bus that has its lights on can be extremely dangerous, the big deal is that points will be added to your driving record. Passing a school bus improperly can result in points being added to your record, in addition to a monetary fine being imposed. It does not stop there. Because you are only permitted to many points on your driving record before your insurance company is notified, you may find that your annual premiums will go up as a result. In other words, what started out as a mistake can end up costing you quite a bit of money in the end. This is why you will want an experienced attorney working on your case from the beginning in order to fight the traffic violation.
What You Need To Know?
Pennsylvania has pretty strict requirements that drivers must follow when they approach a school bus. If you see a bus that has stopped and has its flashing red lights on, then you are required to stop within 10 feet of the vehicle. This includes if you are both driving on the exact same road or if you come across the bus at one of the intersections in the road. The flashing red lights are turned on to indicate that children are either entering or exiting the bus. This is why vehicles on all sides of the bus are asked to stop until the lights are turned off.
You are permitted to pass the school bus again when its red lights have stopped flashing and the stopped sign is no longer out. One important thing to keep in mind is that Pennsylvania does not require a police officer to actually witness the act of improperly passing a school bus. You can still be issued with moving traffic violation after the fact.
Just because you do not see any police does not mean you will not be issued with a citation. In the state of Pennsylvania, school bus drivers are tasked with the responsibility of noting any violations. They will write down your license plate and the make and model of your car. They are required to then submit that to the police within 48 hours. They also note the time and location where the violation occurred. If the police feel that the report filed by the school bus driver is sufficient, they will see to it that you are issued a violation.
Why Do You Need a Lawyer?
If you are determined to be guilty of this offense, you will have five points added to your license. Your driver’s license is also subject to suspension, and that will be for sixty days. Needless to say, this is a significant penalty, so the violation must be taken seriously. You will want to have a lawyer so that you can fight the charge. Your lawyer will work to get the evidence thrown out. If found guilty, they will work hard to get the penalty reduced.