There are special motor vehicle laws related to school buses. These laws were created in an attempt to protect schoolchildren who travel on these buses. The operators of school buses have an important job. They also have certain duties to help keep schoolchildren safe. In order to do this, there are laws about stopping a school bus. If you are a bus driver, you can learn more about these laws here.
Stopping A School Bus
There are certain laws related to stopping a school bus to let children out. When receiving or discharging passengers, the bus driver must signal the intention to stop. This should be done with the use of the flashing signal lights on the bus. The driver should signal within at least 50 feet of a stop that they are going to make. This will alert oncoming traffic and other drivers that the bus will be stopping. If the bus that is being driven has amber flashing lights, these lights have to be signalled at least 100 feet before a stop.
Once a bus comes to a stop, the bus driver should not open the doors to let passengers on or off until the driver sees that all other vehicles have stopped moving to comply with the flashing lights. Upon stopping, the driver should also display the stop semaphore. Again, the driver shouldn’t open the doors to let passengers on or off until all other vehicles have stopped moving.
After all schoolchildren have boarded or left the bus, the driver should turn off the flashing lights and retract the stop semaphore. He or she should then let all standing traffic pass before starting the school bus. The bus driver should make sure that all children remain in their seats while the bus is moving. He or she should also make sure that the doors are securely closed while the bus is moving.
Places School Buses Cannot Stop
There are certain places where a bus driver should not stop a school bus. In most cases, this includes the main portion of a highway or a highway with separate roadways. The only time that a bus should stop on a main highway to let schoolchildren on or off is if there are no highway shoulders, curbs, or bus stops where the children can get off. Letting schoolchildren on and off a bus on a highway with separate roadways should not occur unless:
- The child getting on or off the bus can get to the bus stop without having to cross the highway.
- The bus is stopping where there is a crossing guard or a traffic control signal.
These are a few important provisions that school bus drivers should follow. Failure to follow any of these laws will result in a motor vehicle violation. You could face having a point assessed against your driver’s license, which could ultimately affect your ability to work. You also face a fine that could cost you hundreds of dollars. For more information on Section 14-277, please contact my office.