School and law enforcement officials are already reporting problems with motorists passing stopped school buses that have their lights activated, even as the school season is just getting underway.

Delaware County Sheriff’s officials say 21 year old Matthew Stafford of Sidney Center was issued two summonses Friday for passing a stopped school bus on two occasions and one summons for having more than one suspension on his driver’s license.

The Delaware County Sheriff’s office issued a statement reminding the public it is illegal and dangerous to pass a stopped school bus when its red lights are flashing. The law requires motorists to stop for a bus whenever approaching a bus from the front or overtaking it from the rear even on divided and multi-lane highways, even if the bus is on the opposite side of a divided highway.

The penalty for a first conviction is $250-$400 with five points on the driver’s license and a possible 30 days in jail.  A second conviction in three years carries a fine of $600-$750 and a third conviction in three years carries a $750-$1,000 fine.  A driver’s license could also be revoked and the motorist faces possible jail time.

Stafford has been ordered to appear in Town of Sidney Court at a later date.



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