Passing or Failing to Stop for a Stopped School Bus is a class 1 misdemeanor, unless someone is hit during the act of passing the school bus, in which case, the charge is a class I or class H felony. The State must prove every element of the charge beyond a reasonable doubt, or you are not guilty!
A person guilty of this offense:
(2) A vehicle and
(3) Approaches, from any direction, on the same street, highway or public vehicular area,
(4) A school bus
(5) That is displaying its mechanical stop signal or flashing red lights AND Is stopped for the purpose of receiving or discharging passengers, AND
(6) Passes or attempts to pass the school bus OR fails to bring the vehicle to a full stop and remain stopped
(7) Before the bus’s mechanical stop signal has been withdrawn, the flashing red stoplights have been turned off, and the bus has started to move.
Some of these elements are more difficult for the State to prove than others. For instance, to prove that the bus was in fact a “School Bus,” the State must prove that the word “School Bus” appeared on both the front AND rear of the bus. Simply saying it was “a big yellow bus” is not enough! This is often difficult for the State, since many times the officer could not see both the front and rear of the bus.
Attorneys at The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC are prepared to take your case to trial! For a free consultation call Attorney Kristi Haddock or Attorney Wiley Nickel at 919-585-1486. Our office is located in Cary, North Carolina just minutes from interstate 40.