Across the nation, more than 230 million children begin and end the day on a school bus. Tragedies happen every day. Children often don’t look or run out into traffic. Be cautious whenever you are around school buses.
When driving near school buses, remember:
- Learn and obey the “alternately flashing warning light” system that school bus drivers use to alert motorists.
- It is against the law to pass a stopped school bus while its lights are flashing and its stop arm is extended.
- On undivided roadways, with no physical barrier or median, vehicles must stop on both sides of the roadway.
- Yellow flashing lights indicate that the bus is preparing to load or unload children. Motorists should slow down and prepare to stop their vehicles.
- Red flashing lights and extended stop arms indicate that the bus has stopped, and children are getting on or off. Motorists approaching from either direction must wait until the red lights stop flashing before proceeding.
Keeping children safe in designated school zones is a top priority. School zones are often marked with yellow-green signing, and indicated times of reduced speed during school arrival and dismissal times. Children don’t always pay attention, they may take shortcuts or may be more interested in their friends than watching traffic. Be alert, especially since small children can be difficult to see.
As a driver, the most important thing you can do to protect children in school zones is to slow down.