School Bus Safety Tips For Motorists

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Since March, COVID -19 has changed so many facets of our lives. Schools scrambled to come up with options to help keep everyone safe and shifted from in person learning to online learning.

The first day of the 2020-2021 School year begins August 31, 2020. There will be a hybrid of in person teaching and online classes. With students returning to the classroom, there will be an increase in traffic and school buses will be back on the roadways.

Here a few school bus safety tips for motorists:

  • Be alert and watch for children especially near schools, bus stops, school buses and in school parking lots.

  • Children on bicycles can be unpredictable and can make sudden changes in direction. Be especially careful when children are present in school zones and residential areas.

  • Pay extra attention to lower speed limits in school zones.

  • Watch for and obey signals from school crossing guards.

  • Only drive or park in authorized areas to drop off or pick up children at school.

  • Motorists are required to stop when approaching a school bus that is stopped with its red lights flashing and STOP arms extended. (See the different situations in the diagram below)

  • All drivers moving in either direction on a two-way street must stop for a school bus displaying a stop signal, and must remain stopped until the road is clear of children AND the school bus stop arm is withdrawn. (see diagram, TWO-LANE)

  • On a highway divided by a paved median, all drivers moving in either direction must stop for a school bus displaying a stop signal, and must remain stopped until the road is clear of children AND the school bus stop arm is withdrawn. (see diagram, MULTI-LANE)

  • The only time traffic approaching an oncoming school bus does not need to stop, is if there is a raised barrier such as a concrete divider or at least five feet of unpaved space separating the lanes of traffic. (see diagram, DIVIDED HIGHWAY)

  • On a highway divided by a raised barrier or an unpaved median at least 5 feet wide, drivers moving in the opposite direction do not have to stop for the bus (painted lines or pavement markings are not considered barriers). However, these motorists should slow down and watch for students loading or unloading from the bus. (see diagram, DIVIDED HIGHWAY)

  • The fine for passing a stopped school bus with its lights on and stop signs extended is $266.00 with a mandatory appearance in court.

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