School Bus on a Virginia RoadYou’ve been charged with the crime of passing a stopped school bus in Virginia. More specifically, you have been charged with reckless driving in violation of Section §46.2-859 of the Virginia Code. You face significant fines, jail time, and other penalties that could have a long-term impact on your life if you are convicted of reckless driving.

However, you don’t think you are guilty of this crime.

Potential Defenses to a Reckless Driving Charge for Passing a Stopped School Bus

You cannot be convicted of reckless driving in Virginia unless the Commonwealth can prove that you violated the law. In order to be convicted of reckless driving for passing a stopped school bus, the government must prove:

  • That the school bus was stopped on a highway, private road, or school driveway for the purpose of taking on or discharging children, the elderly, or mentally or physically handicapped persons.
  • That you did not stop or remain stopped until everyone was clear of the highway, private road, or school driveway and the bus was back in motion.
  • The school bus was painted yellow, had warning lights, and the words “school bus” on it in black letters at least eight inches high. 

If any one of these things is not true, then the charges against you may be dismissed.

Additionally, you should not be convicted of reckless driving for passing a school bus if:

  • You were on the other part of a divided highway from the school bus, on an access road, or on a driveway that was separated by a physical barrier or an unpaved area. In these situations you do not have a legal duty to stop for a school bus.
  • You were directed by a law-enforcement officer or other duly authorized uniformed school crossing guard to pass the bus while it was stopped and loading or unloading passengers from or onto property immediately adjacent to the school. You do not have a legal duty to stop for a school bus in this situation.

Finally, there may be limited circumstances, such as during a medical emergency, when other defenses may also be effective.

Don’t Delay—Call a Reckless Driving Defense Lawyer Today  

An experienced reckless driving attorney who understands this unique area of the law and who has successfully helped other people facing similar charges can help you mount a legal defense to the charges you face and can make sure that you are treated fairly. For more than 20 years, Attorney T. Kevin Wilson has been helping people facing reckless driving, drunk driving, and other serious traffic crimes. If you would like to learn more about your own defense, please call The Wilson Law Firm today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.