NJ Improper School Bus Passing Lawyer

     Passing a school bus is one of the worst driving offenses you can be charged with in New Jersey and is one you should hire a traffic ticket lawyer to represent you for.  Judges very often will suspend driver’s licenses for this offense, and can even put you in jail if they feel your case warrants that.  Contact an experienced traffic attorney immediately if you have been charged for improperly passing a school bus.


What are the Penalties?

The penalties for passing a school bus under N.J.S.A. 39:4-128.1 are:

  • At least a $100 Fine + Court Costs;
  • 5 Motor Vehicle Points;
  • Possible 15 Days Jail;
  • Possible 15 Days Community Service;
  • Possible Driver’s License Suspension;
  • Insurance Premium Increases.


Frequently Asked Questions:

What does the State need to prove to convict me for passing the school bus?

They will have to prove that the location the properly marked bus was stopped would not permit you to legally pass it.  They need to prove the bus was stopped to discharge students or developmentally disabled persons.  And they will need to prove that you passed the bus before such people made it to the side of the road or before the bus stopped the use of their red flashing lights.

What generally happens with school bus passing tickets?

Frequently when we have clients charged for passing a school bus, they are also given other charges, such as reckless driving, careless driving, failure to yield, etc. In these situations, it can either be best to for your attorney to fight the case if there are good defenses, or to try to plea bargain with the prosecutor to remove a majority of the tickets and save your drivers license from suspension.


Below is a copy of New Jersey’s improper school bus passing statute, N.J.S.A. 39:4-128.1:

On highways having roadways not divided by safety islands or physical traffic separation installations, the driver of a vehicle approaching or overtaking a bus, which is being used for the transportation of children to or from school or a summer day camp or any school connected activity, or which is being used for the transportation of a person who has a developmental disability, and which has stopped for the purpose of receiving or discharging any child or a person who has a developmental disability, shall stop such vehicle not less than 25 feet from such school bus and keep such vehicle stationary until such child or person who has a developmental disability has entered said bus or has alighted and reached the side of such highway and until a flashing red light is no longer exhibited by the bus; provided, such bus is designated as a school bus by one sign on the front and one sign on the rear, with each letter on such signs at least four inches in height.

On highways having dual or multiple roadways separated by safety islands or physical traffic separation installations, the driver of a vehicle overtaking a school bus, which has stopped for the purpose of receiving or discharging any child or any person who has a developmental disability, shall stop such vehicle not less than 25 feet from such school bus and keep such vehicle stationary until such child or person who has a developmental disability has entered said bus or has alighted and reached the side of the highway and until a flashing red light is no longer exhibited by the bus.

On highways having dual or multiple roadways separated by safety islands or physical traffic separation installations, the driver of a vehicle on another roadway approaching a school bus, which has stopped for the purpose of receiving or discharging any child, or any person who has a developmental disability shall reduce the speed of his vehicle to not more than 10 miles per hour and shall not resume normal speed until the vehicle has passed the bus and has passed any child who may have alighted therefrom or be about to enter said bus.

For purposes of this section, “highway” means the entire width between the boundary lines of every way whether publicly or privately maintained when any part thereof is open to the public for purposes of vehicular travel.

Whenever a school bus is parked at the curb for the purpose of receiving children directly from a school or a summer day camp or any school connected activity or discharging children to enter a school, or a summer day camp or any school connected activity, which is located on the same side of the street as that on which the bus is parked, drivers of vehicles shall be permitted to pass said bus without stopping, but at a speed not in excess of 10 miles per hour.

Whenever a school bus is parked at the curb for the purpose of receiving or discharging a person who has a developmental disability on the same side of the street as that on which the bus is parked, drivers of vehicles shall be permitted to pass the bus without stopping, but at a speed not in excess of 10 miles per hour.

The driver of a bus which is being used for the transportation of children to or from school or a summer day camp or any school connected activity, or for the transportation of a person who has a developmental disability shall continue to exhibit a flashing red light and shall not start his bus until every child who may have alighted therefrom shall have reached a place of safety.

Any person who shall violate any provision of this act shall be subject to (1) a fine of not less than $100.00, (2) imprisonment for not more than 15 days or community service for 15 days in such form and on such terms as the court shall deem appropriate, (3) or both for the first offense, and a fine not less than $250.00, imprisonment for not more than 15 days, or both for each subsequent offense. The penalties shall be enforced and recovered pursuant to the provisions of chapter 5 of Title 39 of the Revised Statutes. There shall be a rebuttable presumption that the registered owner of the vehicle which was involved in the violation of this section was the person who committed the act. Any person who suppresses, by way of concealment or destruction, any evidence of a violation of this section or who suppresses the identity of the violator shall be subject to a fine of $100.

The Chief Administrator of the Motor Vehicle Commission may also revoke the license to drive a motor vehicle of any person who shall have been guilty of such willful violation of any of the provisions of this act as shall, in the discretion of the chief administrator, justify such revocation, but the chief administrator shall, at all times, have power to validate such a license which has been revoked, or to grant a new license to any person whose license to drive a motor vehicle shall have been revoked pursuant to this act.

© Avery & Avery, Esqs., 2012-2018 All rights reserved. Robert W. Avery, Esq., Avery & Avery, Esqs., www.averylaw-nj.comcriminaldefenselawyer-nj.comdrugcrimedefenselawyer-nj.com, antrafficticketlawyer-nj,com, own all intellectual property rights, including all copyrights, in and related to the content and top design of this site and the organization of the information contained in this site. Disclaimer: This website is made available by Robert W. Avery, Esq., and Avery & Avery, Esqs., to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice.  By using this website, you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the website publisher.  Communication by you (via email, facsimile, or telephone) does not create an attorney client relationship, which can only be accomplished by a written retainer agreement between lawyer and client.  Our top priority is to provide all of our clients and those who search for us, whether for personal injury matters, general trial work, criminal arrests, drug and marijuana arrests, municipal court dui dwi drunk driving arrests and breathalyzer/alcotest refusal representation, or for estate planning, estate administration, powers or attorney, living wills, advance directives, or for their last will and testament, with the best representation and best defense available anywhere. Our primary practice is in the Bergen County, Hudson County, Passaic County, Morris County, Essex County, Sussex County and the North New Jersey region.