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Passing a school bus in a two-lane back country road when flash light if OFF

Waltham, MA |

This happened in an early morning last week. I stopped after a school bus when pupils were boarding. After the pupils had boarded the bus, the flash lights were off and the stop signs were not expanded. In the moment when the bus was about to move, I crossed the double yellow line and bypassed the bus. I seemed to hear a honk — not sure it is from the school bus or other cars on the road. In addition, several residents hundred yards on their driveways shouted to me. But I was too nervous to stop.

I am very scared if the school bus driver or the residents had taken my number and would report it. I am just a visitor here for a shore period time with an out-of-state license plate. Will I receive a ticket? If so, Is this just civilian charge with a fine, or criminal?

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Attorney answers 1


You could be cited for a marked lanes violation and for failure to stop for a school bus and perhaps negligent operation. The marked lanes violation and failure to stop citations are civil motor vehicle infractions and not criminal, but negligent operation is criminal. I realize that you stated that the lights on the bus were not flashing and the stop sign placard was not extended, but in a situation where you are being reported to the police, it is quite likely that the witnesses will say that you passed the bus while the stop sign was out and the lights were flashing.

There may be an identification defense if you are cited or charged, assuming that somebody got your plate number. Under no circumstances should you make any statement at all to the police; the police are only there to collect evidence to use against you and if they are asking you questions, you are a suspect and nothing you say will convince them you did not commit the crime. If you receive a citation in the mail or any other documentation from the police or the courts, contact an attorney immediately.

Good luck,

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