New York VTL § 1174 Failure to Stop for a School Bus Defense Lawyers

Have you been charged with VTL § 1174 passing a stopped school bus in New York?

The New York State failing to stop for a school bus attorneys at Palumbo & Associates, P.C., have vast experience in representing drivers accused passing a stopped school bus, NY VTL § 1174. If you have been arrested or charged with failing to stop for a school bus, NY VTL § 1174, contact us for a free consultation to find out how we can help. Being found guilty of failing to stop for a school bus is a big problem. A conviction is 5 points on your license and a large fine. Our New York traffic court defense lawyers can represent you when charged with not stopping for a school bus anywhere in New York State.

NY VTL § 1174 – the statute

The rules and regulations regarding school bus violations are technical and complex, because they are a hybrid of New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 375(20) and NY VTL § 1174. When read together, all drivers must stop before overtaking (passing) a stopped school bus as long as:

  • The bus is equipped with at least one red flashing signal in the front and one in the rear
  • The red flashing signals are in fact in illuminated and flashing
  • The bus is stopped on a public highway, street, or private roadway
  • Has two signs displayed on the exterior of the bus painted in black stating the words “school bus” at least 8 inches in height mounted on the top of the bus, one in the front and one in the rear
  • The bus must be painted “National School Bus Chrome” (yellow)
  • The bus is engaged in receiving or discharging passengers for transporting:
    • Pupils to and from school or school activities
    • Children to and from camp or camp activities
    • Children to and from religious services or instruction
    • Persons with disabilities used by state facilities or non-for-profit agencies licensed by the state
    • Children to and from child care centers maintained for children of
      • Migrant farm workers, or
      • Food processing laborers

In addition, the motorist is not permitted to proceed not when the flashing lights go off, but when the bus resumes motion, or is waived on by the bus driver or a police officer.

Penalties for violating NY VTL § 1174

Upon conviction, a motorist is facing upon a first conviction:

  • Fine of not less than $250.00 nor more than $400.00 (plus a court surcharge)
  • 5 points on your driver’s license
  • Potential imprisonment of up to 30 days
  • A major insurance merit system violation

Upon a second conviction within 3 years of a prior conviction:

  • Fine of not less than $600.00 nor more than $750.00 (plus a court surcharge)
  • 5 points on your driver’s license
  • Potential imprisonment of up to 180 days
  • A major insurance merit system violation

For a third conviction within 3 years of two prior convictions:

  • Fine of not less than $750.00 nor more than $1,000.00 (plus a court surcharge)
  • 5 points on your driver’s license
  • Potential imprisonment of up to 180 days
  • A major insurance merit system violation
Defenses to NY VTL § 1174 failing to stop for a school bus

If you have been charged with passing a stopped school bus you have a big problem on your hands. This is because while prosecutors will negotiate all other charged infractions such as speeding, with failing to stop for a passed school bus there are virtually no prosecutors or courts anywhere in the State of New York that will make a plea offer. This means that you either have to plead guilty “as charged” or take you case to trial. I refer to these 2 choices as either rolling over, or rolling the dice.

What people don’t understand is that by pleading guilty “as charged” you gain nothing and lose everything. In other words, there is no downside to taking your case to trial and losing, because the DMV and your insurance company does not care how you were found guilty. There is no legal significance in the fact that you “accepted responsibility” and admitted your guilt. Your insurance is going up whether or not you plead guilty or were found guilty after trial; you are getting 5 points on your license whether you plead guilty or were found guilty after trial. So when a prosecutor looks at you and says “we don’t make plea offers on school bus tickets,’ you have 1 choice – asserting your right to trial.

And doing a trial is where we come in. Our office has litigated many school bus tickets. We have gotten VTL § 1174 passing a stopped school bus dismissed by written motion to dismiss, at trial, and even in a criminal case gotten a predicate charge of VTL § 1174 dismissed and the evidence of drugs found in a search incident to arrest suppressed and those charges dismissed as well. In fact, in the history of our office only one of our clients have been found guilty of passing a stopped school bus.


Our law office offers convenience, ease, and certitude of a positive outcome. We will represent you in any court in the State of New York. we get your court appearance waived so you do not have to take time off. We give you piece of mind by giving you a money back guarantee.

Call us toll free at 1-877-99-NO-TIX (1-877-996-6849) or e-mail. We need your name, the name of the court, the charge(s), and if a speeding ticket the speed limit and the speed charged. You can e-mail us, scan and e-mail the ticket, or fax it to us at 914-777-2999. Don’t wait, do it today!