Scarsdale, NY asked in Traffic Tickets for New York

Q: My husband got a traffic ticket in the morning while dropping our son to school. He passed a school bus stopped

My husband got a traffic ticket in the morning while dropping our son to school. He passed a school bus (failed to notice) stopped in the opposite direction. He was going to drop off our son to school early. The incident happened right after he backed out from our driveway. It was a chaotic morning. I was supposed to drop off my son and then last minute asked him. Husband has good driving record. My son had a special in school due to which he had to be dropped off early. Do you think if we show that evidence (we have email from school requesting early drop off), our driveway being very close to the stopped bus in the opposite direction, that might be helpful? Thanks a lot!

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
Toshinori Isoai
Toshinori Isoai
  • Traffic Tickets Lawyer
  • New City, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: Under VTL 1174, a driver must stop for a school bus picking up or discharging passengers. It's a straight forward statute with no consideration of the driver's intent. Your personal necessity (of getting to school early) or other factors (such as a bad weather, "everybody was passing - why me", or "didn't see it") will not constitute a defense. The only defense will probably be lack of elements under the law including that a red visual signal was not in operation at that time and that the vehicle didn't have the required signs, identifying it as a school bus, painted on the proper color background, etc.

This violation carries a high fine even for the 1st offense (and a surcharge) as well as DMV points (5 points), if convicted. Your license can be revoked if you had the same violation in the recent years (this goes to future concern too). You may want to retain a local lawyer to negotiate a plea with the prosecuting attorney. Some prosecutors reduce/amend a school bus violation to a 2-point violation or possibly no-point offense, but others don't. Westchester may not be one of the most citizen-friendly venues, but defending your charge will probably be better than pleading straight to the original charge.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.