The school year is in full swing, and drivers need to know the basics of sharing the roads with school buses. School buses follow the same driving laws as other vehicles, but extra rules apply to you for student protection.
See below for some helpful information about driving around school buses. Drivers should be cautious to prioritize the safety of the children on these buses and adhere to these important rules.
Do not pass school buses
Most people know they cannot pass a stopped school bus. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation says that drivers must give at least 20 feet of space to any school bus that stops and flashes its red lights. Both road lanes must stop, except for highways divided by a center median. Even if the bus does not extend its stop sign, a bus flashing red lights still requires you to stop. Furthermore, it is difficult to see around school buses, so always assume a pedestrian child is present—fines for failure to stop range from $30 to $300.
Watch for yellow lights
Yellow lights mean you should proceed with caution. When yellow hazard lights flash, you can still drive past the bus. When you see flashing yellow overhead lights, the bus is about to stop. Do not try to move around the bus quickly. Instead, prepare to stop the required 20 feet away.
It is unfortunate how many people ignore the law and endanger the lives of children. If you live in a school zone area or know that school buses frequent your commute route, it can be helpful to learn when school begins and ends to either avoid these times or exercise extra caution during these periods. Watch out for stopped school buses throughout the school year and take a little extra time to keep students safe.