The majority of children killed in student transportation are not killed on the bus, but in the area outside of the bus. Deaths can happen when motorists fail to stop for the flashing red lights and extended stop arm. It is important that drivers know and obey school bus laws.
Failing to stop for a school bus with Red Lights Flashing and Stop Arm Extended is chargeable as a simple misdemeanor and requires a court appearance.
When a school bus driver activates the warning amber signals atop the bus 150 feet before stopping. When the amber lights flash, a motorist should immediately prepare to stop. If the speed limit is more than 45 MPH, the bus driver must give 300 feet of warning.
A motorist MUST STOP for a school bus when the red lights atop the bus are flashing and the stop arm is extended; this means that children are getting on or off the bus. A motorist should stop at least 20 feet from the bus and remain stopped until the lights are turned off.
Always exercise caution when approaching a stopped school bus. Motorists are not required to stop when the hazard warning lights are flashing, but should slow down and be alert to children in the area.
COMMON POINTS OF CONFUSION FOR MOTORISTS
* When approaching a school bus from behind with flashing red lights and extended stop arm a motorist may NOT pass the bus on either side.
* On a two lane roadway a motorist traveling in either direction must stop for a stopped school bus displaying red lights and extended stop arm.
* When turning from any lane and from any direction onto a street where the school bus is stopped, the red lights are flashing and the stop arm is extended, a motorist should stay stopped in their original lane, before the turn is made, until the lights are turned off and the arm is withdrawn.
When driving this time of year, please be alert to children walking to and from school and know and obey school bus laws.