Failing To Stop For A School Bus in NY – VTL 1174(a)

We are often asked about New York school bus tickets under Vehicle And Traffic Law Section 1174(a). They are commonly enforced in order to protect you entering and exiting children.

So how much is a ticket for passing a school bus? A New York school bus tickets carry a whopping 5 points and there is a $250 to $400 fine for passing a school bug for a first offense.  For a second conviction for failure to stop for a school bus ticket, the fine is $600 to $750, and for a third conviction, the fine is $750 to $1,000.  The high fine amounts reflect the Legislature’s desire to deter these dangerous violations.

Of course, these ranges of fines do not include the $70 additional New York State surcharge imposed on all moving violations.  Additionally it does not include the Driver Assessment Fee that is imposed on motorists who accumulate 6 or more points on their licenses.  This fee is $300 for 6 points and $75 for every point above 6.  If a motorist has any other points, a school bus conviction will make him or her subject to the Driver Assessment Fee.

Further, if a motorist is convicted of this charge within 3 years of one another, the DMV will impose a 6-month revocation of license and there will be re-instatement fees following the revocation period.

There another issue involving school bus tickets issued under VTL 1174(a).  It is not widely known (or enforced) but a judge can also impose up to 30 days in jail for a first violation, and 180 days for a second or third violation.

One final cost of passing a school bus in NY ticket conviction involves your automobile insurance rates.  By law, a New York insurance company cannot raise your rates for one school bus ticket if you have an otherwise clean record.  For multiple convictions of moving violations, however, your auto insurance rates can be hiked.  The only option to address a hike is to take a Driver Safety Class that takes 10% off your insurance rates.

As you can see, there are many costs associated with school bus tickets.  You therefore should always stop when approaching a stopped school bus.

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237 Comments. Leave new

  • Hello, this morning I was on my way to work in East New York. I work in a school. As I was passing a school, a large bus turned in front of a car in front of me and the car left because the bus did not use its yellow lights. I also passed, and when I was passing, he signaled for the school bus to stop. A policeman stopped me and gave me a citation. But I didn’t stop the car that passed in front of me? I don’t know what to do. Is this the first time the police have stopped me? That I have to do?

    • Matthew Weiss
      May 17, 2022 9:26 am


      The failure to stop the other drive is not a good defense. Police officers cannot stop everyone.

      However, we still recommend that you plead not guilty. This is the only way to possibly obtain a more favorable outcome.

      Matthew Weiss

  • Hi,

    Would the 5 points apply on my license if I received the ticket for passing a school bus through their cameras?

  • Gerald Borriello
    June 19, 2021 6:39 am

    Does the law apply when on a Highway with a divider?

    • Matthew Weiss
      June 20, 2021 12:17 am

      Gerald Borriello,

      I do not think so but have never heard of a school bus picking up or discharging passengers on a highway.

      Matthew Weiss

  • Edenfantasys
    August 5, 2019 2:51 am

    The record of unlawfully failing to stop for a school bus will also make it impossible to get any job that requires a clean driving record and will send auto insurance rates skyrocketing for most motorists who are convicted of this violation.

  • Just received citation 1174A (failure to stop for a school bus) in Staten Island, NY. I was proceeding north, and the bus was in the southbound lane. The school bus had just pulled over while I passed it – by the time I cleared the rear of the bus, its flashers went on and its stop sign was extended. Since I had passed the bus, I proceeded on my route only to be pulled over a few blocks away. When the cop approached to basically berate me, I explained that I had already passed the bus when its signal system went on – I was not “meeting or overtaking”, as the law reads. The cop argued that I was in the wrong, even though he did agree that I had passed the school bus when its signal system turned on. Do I have a defense in regard to the position/location of my vehicle? Or, should I just plead Guilty and spend my time in a defensive drivers class to reduce these points?

    • Matthew Weiss
      April 14, 2018 3:23 am


      You should fight it. If the officer testifies that you passed the bus BEFORE its lights illuminated and stop signs extended, you can win. Meanwhile, the best practice is not to pass a school bus when it starts to stop. The safety of children is more important than rushing passed it.

      Good luck!

      Matthew Weiss


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