Reckless Driving By Passing A Stopped School Bus in Virginia is punished under Virginia Code §46.2-859. That law states, in pertinent part:
Va Code §46.2-859. Passing a stopped school bus; prima facie evidence.
A person driving a motor vehicle shall stop such vehicle when approaching, from any direction, any school bus which is stopped on any highway, private road or school driveway for the purpose of taking on or discharging children, the elderly, or mentally or physically handicapped persons, and shall remain stopped until all the persons are clear of the highway, private road or school driveway and the bus is put in motion; any person violating the foregoing is guilty of reckless driving. The driver of a vehicle, however, need not stop when approaching a school bus if the school bus is stopped on the other roadway of a divided highway, on an access road, or on a driveway when the other roadway, access road, or driveway is separated from the roadway on which he is driving by a physical barrier or an unpaved area. The driver of a vehicle also need not stop when approaching a school bus which is loading or discharging passengers from or onto property immediately adjacent to a school if the driver is directed by a law-enforcement officer or other duly authorized uniformed school crossing guard to pass the school bus.
Under this law, the police officer must be able to prove that you failed to stop or remain stopped for a stopped school bus that was equipped with warning signs and flashing lights at the time it was stopped to load or unload passengers, and that you were driving on a road without a physical barrier or an unpaved area separating you from the school bus. You must come to a complete stop even if the passengers have not yet begun to load or unload. You must remain stopped until all passengers are completely clear of the road and the bus starts moving again. This law does not apply to you if there is a physical barrier or an unpaved area, such as a grassy or concrete median, separating you from the school bus.
For example, it is considered Reckless Driving By Passing A Stopped School Bus in Virginia if you drive past or fail to remain stopped at a stopped school bus that has its flashing lights on and its stop sign out to unload passengers and there is no median separating you from the school bus.
By Michael Huff, Esq.