Drivers must be alert and aware of all other vehicles that they are sharing the road with, especially vehicles that have the right of way. These vehicles include school buses stopping for children and emergency vehicles, such as ambulances, fire trucks, and police cars that have their sirens and lights on. It is easy to get flustered when you hear the sirens approaching or you see a school bus heading in your direction. Here are the laws on when you must stop for these vehicles.
School Bus Laws
Every driver in Connecticut must stop at least 10 feet in front of a school bus that has its lights flashing. Drivers must be stopped until the school bus’ flashing lights subside. Failure to comply with this law may result in a fine of $450 for the first offense, and a fine of $500-$1,000 and up to 30 days in prison or both for each subsequent offense. The DMV can assess four points to any license for violation of this law. Keep in mind that when a driver racks up 10 points on his or her license, the DMV can suspend the license.
Emergency Vehicle Laws
Drivers must also pull over for emergency vehicles when responding to an emergency. When an emergency vehicle is approaching, all drivers in the immediate area must move over to the right side of the road, and clear the intersection as much as possible, stop, and then stay stopped until the emergency vehicle has passed. Drivers must stay at least 100 feet behind ambulances in front of them, that are flashing or using a siren. Any driver who willfully or negligently blocks an ambulance, fire truck, or police car, who is responding to an emergency or pursuing a suspect may be issued a fine of up to $250.
The Move Over law requires drivers to slow down and move over for emergency vehicles on the highway. The law states that when approaching emergency vehicles that are going slow or stopped on any highway with at least two lanes of traffic, drivers are to reduce their speed to a reasonable speed below the speed limit and move over to the shoulder or breakdown lane or to the other lane, away from them. Emergency vehicles may include those with flashing lights, emergency vehicles responding to an emergency call, fire trucks, police officers, tow trucks, state bridge or parkway authority, utility companies, or maintenance companies.
It is always best to pull over or stop your vehicle when you see an emergency vehicle with flashing lights/sirens or a school bus stopping and putting out its stop sign. But, sometimes you may be distracted or fail to comply with these laws. If you have received a traffic violation for failing to comply with the laws of driving in regard to school buses and emergency vehicles, call our office to speak with someone who can help you with your ticket and answer questions you may have.