Failure to Stop for School Bus or Emergency Vehicle
Pedestrian crossing rules are enforced to maintain road safety. If you fail to observe Michigan road traffic laws or basic road rules and signals like failing to stop for a bus or ambulance, the consequences can be severe enough to require legal help from a Lansing criminal defense attorney.
Traffic Rules in Michigan
According to Section 257.682 of the Michigan Vehicle Code, drivers on Michigan roads must stop “not less than 20 feet from a school bus and not proceed until the school bus resumes motion or the visual signals are no longer actuated,” when ” a school bus has stopped and is displaying two alternately flashing red lights located at the same level.”
Drivers who violate this section are guilty of a civil infraction and face fines between $100 and $500, and up to 100 hours of community service.
According to section 257.653 of the Michigan Vehicle Code drivers shall immediately yield the right of way to ” an authorized emergency vehicle equipped with not less than 1 lighted flashing, rotating, or oscillating lamp… and when the driver is giving audible signal by siren, exhaust whistle, or bell,” and “shall remain in that position until the authorized emergency vehicle has passed.”
Drivers who violate this section are guilty of a civil infraction.
Other Possible Consequences
While a ticket and a fine of several hundred dollars may not seem like a big deal to some, having a violation on your driving record actually has a number of unwelcome consequences that can impact your life for years.
- Points on your License – If you’re found guilty of failure to stop for a school bus, you will have 3 points added to your Michigan driver’s license, if you are found guilty of failure to yield to an emergency vehicle, you will have four points added to your Michigan driver’s license. Points will remain for the next two years. If you already have points due to prior violations, you may face sanctions such as restrictions or suspension.
- Inflated Insurance Premiums – Insurance providers look at your driving record in order to calculate the risk of insuring you. Having a violation on your record for failure to stop for a school bus or yield to an emergency vehicle puts you in a higher risk category, and makes your insurance premiums more expensive. Your rates will likely go up for at least 2 years, as long as the points are on your driving record.
- Background Check – These days, thorough background checks are an everyday occurrence. Information is readily accessible thanks to technological advancements in organizing and sharing data, and employers, universities, and professional licensing organizations use these new tools to help them evaluate applicants. Having a violation for failure to stop for a school bus or yield to an emergency vehicle, especially if it’s in conjunction with several other violations, could make you a less attractive candidate for a variety of opportunities.
- Job Loss – If you drive professionally as a bus driver, truck driver, or in some other capacity, a violation for failure to stop for a school bus or yield to an emergency vehicle could put your job at risk.
How a Lansing Traffic Defense Attorney Can Help
A skilled Lansing traffic attorney may explore a number of possible defenses on your behalf, including:
- The School Bus Hadn’t Deployed Its Lights – Perhaps you didn’t stop for a school bus because it was not displaying two alternately flashing red lights. Your lawyer will interview any potential witnesses to corroborate your story and build a defense on your behalf.
- An Emergency Vehicle Didn’t Have Flashing Lights or Sirens – If an emergency vehicle failed to activate its lights and sirens, how could you know to yield? Your lawyer will collect witness statements and any other possible evidence to help bolster your story and build your defense.
- You Did Stop or Yield – Police officers are not infallible, and sometimes they can make mistakes. Maybe you did stop for the school bus or yield for the emergency vehicle, and your ticketing officer simply got it wrong. Your lawyer will talk to available witnesses, look at available surveillance footage from any possible sources, and take a statement from the officer in order to build your defense.
People get traffic tickets in Lansing every day, and many drivers have gotten at least one over the course of a lifetime. It might seem like “no big deal” – but brushing off a ticket could have serious consequences on your driving record and your life.
If you’ve been ticketed for failure to stop for a school bus or to yield to an emergency vehicle, you may want to talk to a traffic defense attorney about your options for fighting your ticket.
Charged with Failure to Stop? Contact a Lansing Criminal Defense Attorney Today.
Having a violation for failure to stop for a school bus or yield to an emergency vehicle on your record can have long-lasting consequences. Talk to a Lansing criminal defense attorney today to learn more about your options, contact DeBruin Law at (517) 324-4303.