08 Sep Understanding School Bus Safety in Oklahoma
Every day school buses travel through Oklahoma to safely transport thousands of students to and from their schools. These big, bright, yellow vehicles are impossible to miss, yet each year there are incidents involving drivers who fail to follow the rules for stopping when a school bus is picking up or dropping off children. The implications or such oversights can be tragic and life-altering. As a driver, it is your responsibility to help ensure the safety of these young passengers by adhering to Oklahoma’s school bus laws.
What are the Reasons for School Bus Laws?
According to Oklahoma State Statute 47 O.S. § 11-705 (A), “[t]he driver of a vehicle meeting or overtaking a school bus that is stopped to take on or discharge school children, and on which the red loading signals are in operation, is to stop the vehicle before it reaches the school bus and not proceed unless the loading signals are deactivated and then proceed past such school bus at a speed which is reasonable and with due caution for the safety of such school children and other occupants.”
The rule to stop for school buses in Oklahoma is a critical safety measure designed to protect children as they get on and off the bus. Here are some reasons why this rule is so vital:
- Vulnerable Passengers: School bus riders are open young children who may not always be aware of traffic rules or dangers from moving vehicles. Stopping for school buses ensures that they can safely board or disembark the bus without worrying about oncoming traffic.
- Avoiding Confusion: Different children get on and off at different stops and their movements can be unpredictable. Requiring all vehicles to stop eliminates any confusion and gives children the me they need to safely reach their destination.
- Limited Visibility: When children are getting on or off a school bus, it can be challenging for drivers to see them especially if they have to cross the street. By requiring all drivers to stop, the law reduces the risk of an accident due to limited visibility.
- Enforcing Uniformity: By making it a state-wide rule, Oklahoma ensures that the law is uniform across all districts and regions. This consistency helps drivers understand what’s expected from them, no matter where they are in the state.
What Happens if a Driver Doesn’t Stop for a School Bus?
Many places consider not stopping for a school bus a serious traffic violation due to the potential risks to child safety. Below are some of the potential consequences that drivers may face if they fail to stop for a school bus:
- Fines: A driver who fails to stop for a school bus can face a fine- the total amount
- Points on Driver’s License: Violators might accrue points on their driving records. Accumulating too many points within a specific me frame can lead to the suspension of the driver’s license.
- Driver’s License Suspension: In some places, particularly for repeat offenders, a driver might face a suspension of their driving privileges.
- Potential for Increased Insurance Rates: Traffic violations including failing to stop for a school bus can impact insurance premiums, potentially leading to higher rates.
- Potential for Criminal Charges: If a driver’s failure to stop results in injury or death they could face more severe criminal charges, which come with their own set of penalties including potential jail me.
- Court Costs: In addition to fines, violators might be responsible for court costs if they choose to contest the ticket or if they are required to appear in court.
You can find more details regarding school bus laws in our blog, “Failure to Stop for a School Bus Loading or Unloading Children.”
Do You Think You Need an Attorney?
Many people are unaware of the lasting effects a citation can have on them if not handled. It is important to handle all traffic tickets as soon as possible, especially if convicted for failing to stop for a school bus. To do so, the first step is to seek an attorney who is experienced in traffic rules and their respective violations. If you have received a ticket in Oklahoma for failing to stop for a school bus, contact OK Traffic Ticket Defense. You can either submit your ticket on our website, or call us at (918) 947-9225 to receive a free consultation.