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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    1

    Unhappy Ticket for Passing a School Bus, in Ohio

    i recently got a citation for passing a school bus while it was stopped. i have never had any tickets or violations. When i was turning onto my two lane street to get home i encountered a school bus coming from the opposite direction. Its amber [yellow] lights came on as i was going past it. as i got half way past the bus, the red lights and stop sign came out, but as i was already almost by the bus i kept going.[the bus driver honked] From when i saw this bus i slowed down and went slower than the speed limit to be cautious. but the red lights didnt come on while i was in front of the bus. i got out my old drivers manual and found that it said "When a school bus driver is preparing to stop the bus, he or she activates four amber lights - two on the front and two on the rear of the bus. thesse lights continue to flash until the bus is fully stopped. other vehicles are not required to stop during this preliminary stag or the eight- light warning but should prepare to stop as soon as the bus comes to afull stop.When the bus comes to a complete stop the amber lights stop flashing and four red lights- two front and back- start flashing while the children leave,or enter the bus"...etc
    since i started going by th bus in the preliminary amber stage i find that im not guilty :/ is that correct?
    As i have never had to go to traffic court [im a minor] i am not sure how to present this. What if the bus driver lies about the incident? what will my fine etc. be? Is there anything i need to be careful about in court?
    also I am driving with an out of state license as we just moved to ohio I arrived in ohio august 6th but can not take my test to get an in state license until my drivers education form is sent [they are having difficulty finding/sending it to us] will this be a problem? the officer issuing my citation seemed to see no problem with it.
    hopefully this will make sense.
    help and advice would be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    74,909

    Default Re: Ticket for Passing a School Bus, in Ohio

    If the bus driver has a different recollection of the incident than you, you'll probably be at a disadvantage in court. The odds are that the prosecutor and judge would favor the driver's testimony over your own.

    If you haven't done so, consider getting help from your parents, and perhaps from a lawyer who handles traffic court matters.

    If you are convicted of this offense, I would expect the court to suspend your license.
    Quote Quoting ORC § 4511.75 Stopping for stopped school bus.
    (A) The driver of a vehicle, streetcar, or trackless trolley upon meeting or overtaking from either direction any school bus stopped for the purpose of receiving or discharging any school child, person attending programs offered by community boards of mental health and county boards of mental retardation and developmental disabilities, or child attending a program offered by a head start agency, shall stop at least ten feet from the front or rear of the school bus and shall not proceed until such school bus resumes motion, or until signaled by the school bus driver to proceed.

    It is no defense to a charge under this division that the school bus involved failed to display or be equipped with an automatically extended stop warning sign as required by division (B) of this section.

    (B) Every school bus shall be equipped with amber and red visual signals meeting the requirements of section 4511.771 of the Revised Code, and an automatically extended stop warning sign of a type approved by the state board of education, which shall be actuated by the driver of the bus whenever but only whenever the bus is stopped or stopping on the roadway for the purpose of receiving or discharging school children, persons attending programs offered by community boards of mental health and county boards of mental retardation and developmental disabilities, or children attending programs offered by head start agencies. A school bus driver shall not actuate the visual signals or the stop warning sign in designated school bus loading areas where the bus is entirely off the roadway or at school buildings when children or persons attending programs offered by community boards of mental health and county boards of mental retardation and developmental disabilities are loading or unloading at curbside or at buildings when children attending programs offered by head start agencies are loading or unloading at curbside. The visual signals and stop warning sign shall be synchronized or otherwise operated as required by rule of the board.

    (C) Where a highway has been divided into four or more traffic lanes, a driver of a vehicle, streetcar, or trackless trolley need not stop for a school bus approaching from the opposite direction which has stopped for the purpose of receiving or discharging any school child, persons attending programs offered by community boards of mental health and county boards of mental retardation and developmental disabilities, or children attending programs offered by head start agencies. The driver of any vehicle, streetcar, or trackless trolley overtaking the school bus shall comply with division (A) of this section.

    (D) School buses operating on divided highways or on highways with four or more traffic lanes shall receive and discharge all school children, persons attending programs offered by community boards of mental health and county boards of mental retardation and developmental disabilities, and children attending programs offered by head start agencies on their residence side of the highway.

    (E) No school bus driver shall start the driver’s bus until after any child, person attending programs offered by community boards of mental health and county boards of mental retardation and developmental disabilities, or child attending a program offered by a head start agency who may have alighted therefrom has reached a place of safety on the child’s or person’s residence side of the road.

    (F)
    (1) Whoever violates division (A) of this section may be fined an amount not to exceed five hundred dollars. A person who is issued a citation for a violation of division (A) of this section is not permitted to enter a written plea of guilty and waive the person’s right to contest the citation in a trial but instead must appear in person in the proper court to answer the charge

    (2) In addition to and independent of any other penalty provided by law, the court or mayor may impose upon an offender who violates this section a class seven suspension of the offender’s driver’s license, commercial driver’s license, temporary instruction permit, probationary license, or nonresident operating privilege from the range specified in division (A)(7) of section 4510.02 of the Revised Code. When a license is suspended under this section, the court or mayor shall cause the offender to deliver the license to the court, and the court or clerk of the court immediately shall forward the license to the registrar of motor vehicles, together with notice of the court’s action.
    (G) As used in this section:
    (1) “Head start agency” has the same meaning as in section 3301.32 of the Revised Code.

    (2) “School bus,” as used in relation to children who attend a program offered by a head start agency, means a bus that is owned and operated by a head start agency, is equipped with an automatically extended stop warning sign of a type approved by the state board of education, is painted the color and displays the markings described in section 4511.77 of the Revised Code, and is equipped with amber and red visual signals meeting the requirements of section 4511.771 of the Revised Code, irrespective of whether or not the bus has fifteen or more children aboard at any time. “School bus” does not include a van owned and operated by a head start agency, irrespective of its color, lights, or markings.

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