Passing a school bus that is stopped to pick up or drop off children is a serious offense which will result in the loss of your driving privileges in many states. If you've had your driver's license suspended for this reason, there are several steps you will need to take to have your driving privileges reinstated. Here's what you will need to do.
Pay court costs and fines
In most states, any vehicle moving violations that occur around school buses, such as passing or not stopping, are serious offenses that rank just below careless and reckless driving. States take these offenses seriously due to the risks that are involved when children are in the immediate vicinity.
In Georgia, these violations are misdemeanors and require a court hearing. This means you will not be given the opportunity to sign a traffic ticket stating you are guilty or not guilty and paying the fine. Hire a lawyer to find out what the laws are for your state.
If found guilty, you will need to pay your fine and court costs before you will be eligible to reinstate your driver's license. Part of the court costs pay for your driving classes if your state requires them.
Attend driving classes
In most states, serious driving violations, such as passing school buses or driving while intoxicated, require that the driver take mandatory driving classes or attend traffic school. Depending on state laws, this may be a series of weekly classes or one day-long class. After you complete the classes, you will be given a certification letter to send in to your state's Department of Motor Vehicles or similar entity that issues driver's licenses.
The certification letter may also help you reduce your vehicle insurance premiums. Send a copy of the certification to your vehicle insurance company to show proof that you completed your required classes and ask if you can get a reduction in your rates.
Get a letter of insurance
Before your state will reinstate your driver's license, you will need to get a letter of insurance from your vehicle insurance company. This is a document that is also called SR-22 insurance. It states that you have met the minimum requirements of having financial responsibility to pay for damages and/or injuries in case you cause a motor vehicle accident. In simple terms, this letter tells your driver's licensing authority that you have insurance coverage. This is necessary for most drivers who are considered high-risk.
Helpful tip: It's important to continue insurance coverage even while your driver's license is suspended. Some insurance companies deny coverage to people who have allowed their insurance coverage to lapse. Finding insurance coverage and the letter of insurance you need to reinstate your license after allowing your insurance to lapse may make it take longer to get back on the road.
Do not violate any school bus traffic laws
A second offense of the same violation often results in much harsher punishment. In Illinois, being charged with passing a school bus results in a 90 day suspension of your driver's license for first offenses and a one year suspension for second offenses within 5 years after the initial offense.
It's important to understand and obey all the laws that pertain to traffic around school buses so you don't lose your driver's license for an entire year by getting a second offense. You don't necessarily have to be caught by a police officer to be charged. Many school buses today have cameras installed in them to catch violators. Therefore, don't try to sneak around a school bus while it is stopped. For more informaton, contact a company such as Illinois Automobile Insurance.
You keep a copy of your insurance policy in your file drawer, but do you know how to read and understand the policy? Having an insurance policy will protect you from losses, but it won't protect you from all losses. To get a better understanding of what your policy will and will not cover, read through this blog. You will learn about all different types of insurance policies and learn the terminology used in the documents that you have read. Hopefully, by the time you have read through the content here, you will know exactly where your insurance policies are lacking so you can make changes.