School Bus Laws

The 411 on School Bus Passing Safety

Now that it is officially fall, and you have hopefully figured out your little ones’ school schedules, fallen in love with their teachers, and have finally figured out the perfect portion of peanut butter to jelly to make the perfect lunch!  But have you reviewed the rules for driving and stopping when near a school bus since you took your driver’s test?  Here’s everything you need to know about safely dealing with school buses on the road this year.

On a two-lane roadway: When a school bus stops on a two lane road for little passengers, all traffic from both directions must also stop

On a two-lane roadway with a center turning lane:  When a school bus stops for little passengers, all traffic from both directions must also stop.

On a four-lane roadway WITHOUT a median separation: When a school bus stops for little passengers, all traffic in both directions must also stop.

On a divided highway of four lanes or more  WITH a median separation:  When a school bus stops for little passengers, ONLY the traffic following the school bus must also stop.  If you are on the other side of the medial separation you are free to keep moving, just be on the lookout for little ones crossing!

On a roadway of four lanes or more with a center turning lane:  When school bus stops for little passengers, ONLY the traffic following the school bus must also stop.  If you are on the other side of the center turning lane you are free to keep moving, but again please watch out for little ones crossing!

You must also stop any time you see a school bus is displaying its mechanical stop signal or flashing red lights when it stopped for picking up or dropping off little passengers, and need to remain stopped until after the mechanical stop signal has been lowered, the flashing red spotlights have been turned off, and the bus is once again moving.

Now a quick recap to make sure you were paying attention!

You MUST ALWAYS STOP WHEN you see a school bus stopping and you are on a two-lane highway, on a two-lane highway with a center turning lane, on a four-lane highway without a median separation, when you are in traffic  following behind a school bus on a divided highway of four lanes or more with a median separation and on a roadway of four lanes or more with a center turning lane.  You must also always stop when you see the mechanical stop sign and red flashing lights are displayed.

The ONLY TIMES you are NOT REQUIRED TO STOP is when you are on the opposite side of a divided highway of four lanes or more with a median separation or on a roadway of four lanes or more with a center turning lane.

Violations of these rules that result in a hitting a little one can lead to being charged with a Class I or Class H felony, paying fines between $1,250.00 and $2,500.00, and result in your license be revoked.

Always remember to be on the look out for little ones darting around anytime you are in a residential or school area and driving near a school bus, and be prepared to stop quickly even if you are not required to do by law.  If you find yourself in need of assistance in dealing with a school bus stopping violation or any other traffic matter, the attorneys at King Law can help guide you through all of your legal concerns. Call 1-888-748-KING to schedule your consultation.  Drive safe everyone, and have a great school year!