When To Stop For A School Bus

Drivers have to be extra careful around school buses. Aside from being giant vehicles that make frequent stops, they’re usually full of little humans who might walk out into the street. School bus laws are in place to protect young lives, and breaking those laws can result in expensive tickets and even license suspension.

Stop for Buses with Flashing Lights

You don’t have to come to a screeching halt every time you see a yellow bus on the road. Respectfully share the road with them, of course, but you only have to stop when the bus is stopped and in the process of loading or unloading students. You’ll know this is happening when the bus has its lights flashing. It may also have a stop sign extended out from the side of the bus. It doesn’t matter if you see children around the bus or not. If the lights or signs are in use, be ready to slow down and stop.

Who Has to Stop?

  • Vehicles behind the bus in the same lane or neighboring lanes going in the same direction as the bus
  • Vehicles going the opposite direction on the same street as the bus*
  • Vehicles on a cross street that intersects with the street where the school bus is stopped

*Tip: If you’re on the same street as a stopped school bus going in the opposite direction, the type of divider or median will determine whether you have to stop. If directions of traffic are only separated by a yellow pavement marking or center turn lane, you will need to stop. If there is a physical barrier, such as grass, trees, or concrete separating your vehicle and the school bus, it’s okay to keep driving.

Wait Patiently

Remain stopped until the school bus starts moving again or until the bus driver signals for you to pass. There you have it! Consider yourself schooled.