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Passing school bus while stopped can be costly

Passing a school bus which is displaying its stop arm can cost you your privilege to drive in North Dakota. Under the current penalty system the fees for the violation is set at fifty dollars.

More importantly, the violation assesses six points against your driving record. As an adult, ages

eighteen and older, your privilege to drive will be suspended when you have acquired twelve ormore points. As a driver under the age of eighteen your privileges are suspended at six points.

This one violation alone will suspend the youth driver.

39-10-46. Overtaking and passing school bus.

The driver of a vehicle meeting or overtaking from either direction any school bus stopped on the highway shall stop the vehicle before reaching the school bus when there is in operation on the school bus the flashing red lights or the stop sign on the control arm specified in section.

39-21-18, and the driver may not proceed until the school bus resumes motion, the driver is signaled by the school bus driver to proceed, or the flashing red lights and the stop sign on the control arm are no longer actuated.

Passing a school bus can be costly in other ways. Violations which carry an assessment of three or more points are also reported to your insurance carrier. If your insurance premium is set based on reported traffic violations and collisions your underwriter may choose to increase your premiums or may even cancel your policy.

Be aware, it might not even be you who is driving. Current law allows that a long form complaint may be issued for a violation if the bus driver or other witness can provide to law enforcement the vehicle's license plate number and a description of the vehicle and driver. The registered owner may have the charge dismissed upon providing the name of the person who was driving at the time of the violation.

39-10-46.1. Permitting use of vehicle to violate section 39-10-46 prohibited.

Presumption of permission - Defense - Dual prosecution prohibited.

The registered owner of a motor vehicle may not permit that motor vehicle to be operated

in violation of section 39-10-46. If a motor vehicle is seen violating section 39-10-46, it is a disputable presumption that the registered owner of the motor vehicle permitted that violation. It is a defense to a charge of violating this section that the registered owner of the vehicle was not operating the vehicle, if that registered owner identifies the person authorized by that owner to operate the motor vehicle at the time of the violation of section 39-10-46, or if that motor vehicle had been taken without the registered owner's permission. A person may not be charged both with violating this section and with violating section 39-10-46. Violation of this section is not a lesser included offense of violation of section 39-10-46.

Passing a school bus places the bus passengers in danger as they gather or disperse in the area of the stop. The size of the vehicle makes it difficult for drivers or pedestrians to see adequately to avoid conflicts. Don't take the risk. Stop for the bus.