July 18, 2023 Posted In Bus Accidents
In California, there are specific regulations in place to protect students as they board or exit a school bus. Understanding and adhering to these laws is crucial in preventing accidents and keeping our communities safe.
The primary purpose of stopping for school bus laws is to prevent accidents involving other vehicles that fail to stop. By obeying these laws, drivers can ensure the safety of children crossing the street in close proximity to the bus and minimize the risk of injuries or even fatalities.
In California, the stopping for a school bus laws are defined under the California Vehicle Code (CVC) Section 22454. Here are the key aspects:
Vehicles Must Stop
According to CVC Section 22454(a), all drivers must stop when a school bus displays its flashing red lights and has its stop signal arm extended. This applies to vehicles traveling in the same direction as the bus, as well as those approaching from the opposite direction on a two-lane road.
Stop at a Safe Distance
When stopping for a school bus, it is essential to maintain a safe distance of at least 20 feet behind or in front of the bus. There are a few exceptions to the stopping requirement. If a bus is stopped on the opposite side of a divided highway or a multi-lane highway with two or more lanes in each direction, vehicles traveling in the opposite direction do not need to stop. However, it is still crucial to exercise caution and be prepared to stop if necessary.
Failing to stop for a school bus can have serious consequences. In California, a first offense is a fine of $150 to $250 and 1 point on your driving record. A second offense is a fine of $500 to $1,000. A third offense is a license suspension for one year. The severity of the penalty can also vary if an accident and injuries occur.
When a driver fails to stop for a school bus, it creates a presumption of negligence. Negligence is the legal principle that forms the basis for holding someone responsible for their actions or inactions. In the context of stopping for a school bus law, if an accident occurs due to a driver’s failure to stop, the presumption of negligence may work against them in determining liability.
As a result, legal action can be taken by the injured parties or their families to seek compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other related damages. In addition to civil liability, criminal charges may be brought against the driver if their negligence resulted in severe injuries or fatalities.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a negligent driver who failed to stop for a school bus when necessary, speak to a Riverside Bus Accident Lawyer. They can discuss your legal options in a free consultation and ensure you recover the compensation you deserve.