Is it Ever Legal to Pass a School Bus with Flashing Red Lights?
School is back in session, and with Clark County School District having 336 schools and being the fifth-largest school district in the nation, it is very hard not to pass a school or school bus at some point during the week in this city. School zones are posted with speed limits, flashing lights, and crossing guards with “stop” signs to make us aware of the presence of children and follow the laws regarding it to protect them. School buses are equipped with some of the same, and most people know that is illegal to pass a stopped school bus with flashing red lights. However, the question arises: Is it ever legal to? The answer to that question is yes.
Nevada law states that when a school bus is loading or unloading passengers with flashing red lights, you are required to stop and may not proceed forward until they have turned them off. The law also states an exception to this rule. If you are on a divided highway and going the opposite direction of the school bus, it is legal for you to pass the school bus displaying the red flashing lights. A divided highway is a road of typically two or more lanes that have a median strip between the lanes of opposite direction. In other words, as long as you are traveling in the opposite direction of the bus and there is some sort of permanent physical barrier between you, it is not illegal for you to pass. The most important thing to note here is that there must be a median between the lanes of opposite direction, between you and the bus, for you to pass legally, no matter how many lanes there are on the road. (NRS 484B.353)
Nevada law also states that school-bus drivers are allowed to report a violation if it is observed. The violation is reported to the school district and the Department of Motor Vehicles, and then a warning of the violation’s seriousness is sent to the last known registered owner of the vehicle. According to NRS 484B.353:
3. Any person who violates any of the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and:
(a) For a third or any subsequent offense within 2 years after the most recent offense, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $1,000 and the driver’s license of the person must be suspended for not more than 1 year.
(b) For a second offense within 1 year after the first offense, shall be punished by a fine of not less than $250 nor more than $500 and the driver’s license of the person must be suspended for 6 months.
(c) For a first offense or any subsequent offense for which a punishment is not provided for in paragraph (a) or (b), shall be punished by a fine of not less than $250 nor more than $500.
And finally, as we always say, “If you think you need an attorney, you probably do.” Contact us to set up a consultation. We love answering questions!