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What are the Common School Bus Traffic Stop Laws

Tuesday December 26, 2017


School bus traffic laws are constituted for ensuring the safety of your kid. As a consequence, the student safety is the responsibility of every citizen. With the assistance of traffic stop laws, you will be able to ascertain the precaution you should follow as a motorist or road user for enhanced safety.

As per the law, every road user should remain patient and await for the stopped school bus to load or unload students, in such a way that students can alight or board safely. Require details regarding the school bus traffic stop laws? Let's check it out.

School Bus Stop Laws

Ordinarily, different states have different school bus stop laws. At the same time, every state demands the other drivers to wait until the school bus driver safely boards and alight students. Furthermore, if a stopped bus show flashing red lights, the vehicle in the opposite direction and the overtaking vehicle should calmly wait until the red light is off. Meanwhile, school crossing guards, school bus drivers, and traffic police have the authority to wave traffic on, even when the traffic light is flashing.

Of course, violations can cause hefty penalties such as amends, obtaining demerit points against the driver's license, and the suspension of the driver's license. On the other hand, it is essential for an officer to witness the violation, otherwise the violation will be annulled due to lack of evidence. Moreover, modern school buses are installed with cameras that promptly detect the illegal passing of vehicles.

 Safety tips for drivers from the Traffic State Administration

  • When you back out of a driveway or leave a garage, ensure that there is no child walking or bicycling to school
  • Be vigilant once you approach the areas near school zones as students will bustle out unexpectedly (a student's only motive is to reach the school on time)
  • Slow down your vehicle as the children will hike negligently, and be extra cautious to the roads without the sidewalks
  • Children who become late will never heed traffic and hence, you should be alert enough to evade accidents or injuries
  • Yellow flashing lights indicate that the school bus is preparing to stop for loading or unloading children
  • Red flashing lights with the stop arm warn motorists to wait patiently and should move only after red lights are turned off

 Safety tips for children from the Traffic State Administration

  • Reach the bus stop prior to the scheduled arrival time of a school bus
  • Stand at least 6 feet away from the curb and form a queue away from the road
  • Wait for the school bus to stop, open the doors, and gain approval from drivers that it is safe to board the school bus
  • If there is a requirement to cross the road, slowly move to the sidewalk, or walk along the side of the road in such a way that you are 10 feet ahead of the bus. Also, ensure bus drivers noticed you while you cross the road and receive appropriate guidance
  • Utilize handrails while boarding or alighting the school bus. In addition, be careful that your cloth is not having any draw strings or bag with straps that will have a chance to hang on the school bus doors
  • Never attempt to walk, move, or stand behind the school bus
  • Stand at least 3 giant steps away from the side of the bus
  • Provide adequate warning to drivers whenever you drop anything near the bus as they will not be able to easily notice you

Safety tips for parents and teachers from the Traffic State Administration

  • Parents should educate the above practices to augment the safety of school transportation
  • Teachers are responsible to teach children about safety rules for bicycling, walking, or riding a vehicle
  • Recommend safety resources to children in obtaining details regarding school bus safety

Usual queries of people regarding school bus traffic laws

1. Is it possible to turn in front of a school bus?

Every motorist must consider the school bus loading and unloading students. Nevertheless, it is lawful to turn away from a stopped school bus with lights flashing, it is extremely hazardous as there is an increased chance for students to jump in front of your vehicle unexpectedly.

2. What are the rules to be followed while stopping the school bus?

Ensure that your vehicle is in a stopped condition when the red lights on the school bus are flashing or the stop-arm is extended, especially, when your vehicle approach the school bus from the converse direction with minimum two lanes in each direction. Meanwhile, you are not supposed to overtake a school bus when its red or amber warning lights are glimmering.  

3. Is there any need of stopping for the school bus on a divided highway?

No, you are not required to stop your vehicle for the school bus with red lights flashing, especially when you are travelling in the opposite direction or the roadway, have several traffic lanes in it, and is separated by a median or solid barrier.

4. What is the nature of penalty for passing a stopped school bus illegally?

As per the Law, when a vehicle illegally passes the stopped school bus, the person who is driving the vehicle will be suspended for 90 days  for the first offense, and one year for the second offense, if the offense occurs within a period of five years.

5. Is there any penalty for passing a stopped school bus?

Yes, there is a penalty for overtaking a stopped school bus. However, it intends to vary from one state to another. For instance, usual punishments include a penalty ranging from $100 to $1000, taking away certain points from the license (varies from one state to another), seize the convict for a few months imprisonment, and a few months suspension of the driving license.

6. Can you pass a school bus with yellow flashing lights?

Yellow flashing light is a warning that indicates drivers is preparing to stop the school bus. Consequently, it is wise to stay cautious and be prepared to stop your vehicle.

As a matter of fact, students, teachers, parents, and traffic personnel are equally responsible for ensuring student safety on or around the school bus. Incidentally, rules are formed for the welfare of the society. Accordingly, school bus traffic stop laws are evidently created for the safety of students in the school bus. Therefore, as a responsible citizen, it is your duty to comply those rules and teach your kids regarding the importance of those rules.

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