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Although drivers can challenge a passing a school bus ticket, we would advise you to consult with a traffic ticket attorney before making any plans to pay the fine or fight it. 

Three Reasons to Hire a Traffic Attorney to Fight a Passing a School Bus Ticket

#1 — Traffic attorneys know how to word the request for dismissal or reduced charge. 

#2 — The traffic court judge can give a no-point, fine only conviction or another deal.

#3 — The driver will not have to go to traffic court. An attorney can attend in their place.

Four Common Defenses for Passing a School Bus

#1 — The School bus was not stopped.

#2 — The red signal lights were not flashing, nor did the stop signal arm come out.

#3 — The law enforcement officer (LEO) made a mistake and stopped the wrong person — it wasn’t me!

#4 — It was me, but I could not stop because of an emergency.

Which CVC Contains Passing a School Bus?

CA Vehicle Code (CVC) 22454Special Stops Required provides that drivers approaching a stopped school bus that displays red flashing lights or a stop signal arm from either direction must stop. The driver must stay motionless until the flashing lights or stop arm are no longer visible unless they are on the opposite side of a divided freeway, highway, or roadway. 

When the bus driver observes a violation, they can report the incident to local law enforcement, who will issue an Attorney General’s warning letter. This letter may or may not relieve further penalty, but it will not get entered into the motor vehicle driving record (MVR) of the vehicle driver. 

However, if a ticket is issued, and the defendant pays the fine or loses a challenge in court, the DMV will assess one Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS) point. Four NOTS points within one year could lead to a suspension. The fine could be as much as $695. When you pay the penalty without challenge, you are in essence, pleading guilty.    

Typically, the driver can avoid NOTS points if they have a valid CA driver’s license, were not driving a CMV, and have not used Traffic Violator’s School (TVS) within the previous 18 months. TVS, however, is not always the right choice. If you have two or more tickets pending, TVS may not benefit you. You should discuss this with a Bakersfield traffic attorney. 

Let Bigger & Harman Handle Your Traffic Concerns 

Call Bigger & Harman, (661) 349-9300, when you have questions or concerns about any traffic ticket in Bakersfield, Kern County or across Central Valley. Se habla Español (661) 349-9755. 

Regardless of whether one of the four common defenses apply to you for passing a school bus, guilt or innocence is not the only consideration. Always consult a traffic ticket attorney. We offer a free phone consultation; give us a call. 

Send us an email,  


CVC 22454Special Stops Required

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