Back to School Safety: When to stop for a stopped school bus

See a school bus stopping? You should too - on most roadways.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- With back to school in full swing, it's time for a little lesson in school bus safety.

If you see a school bus stopping with its red lights flashing and stop arm extended to pick up or drop off students, here's what you should do:

If it's a two-lane roadway, vehicles traveling in both directions must come to a complete stop. So whether you are behind the school bus or across the road traveling in the opposite direction of the bus, you must stop.

If it's a multi-lane roadway without a median separation or one with a center turning lane, vehicles traveling in both directions must stop. This means whether you are in the same lane behind the school bus, in another lane in the same direction as the school bus, or across the roadway traveling in the opposite direction of the school bus, you must come to a complete stop.



If it's a multi-lane roadway divided by a barrier or a median, vehicles traveling in the same direction of the school bus, either in the same lane behind the bus or in an adjacent lane, must come to a complete stop. If you are traveling on the opposite side of the roadway as the school bus, you can proceed with caution. But caution is the keyword. In New Jersey, for these types of roadways, you can pass a stopped school bus with flashing red lights at a speed not more than 10 mph when you're traveling on the opposite side.

In Pennsylvania, you must stop at least 10 feet away from school buses that have their red lights flashing and stop arm extended.

The penalties if convicted of violating Pennsylvania's School Bus Stopping Law include a $250 fine, five points on your driving record, and a 60-day license suspension.



In New Jersey, you must stop your vehicles no less than 25 feet from a stopped school bus with its red lights flashing except when the bus is loading or unloading at the school on the same side of the street as the school or when there is a safety island or other physical barrier between you and the bus.

For the first offense, New Jersey drivers who violate the law related to passing stopped school buses face fines of at least $100, 15 days in jail, or 15 days of community service or both. For a subsequent offense, drivers who violate the law related to passing stopped school buses face fines of at least $250 and 15 days in jail. A violation of the law related to passing stopped school buses is a five point penalty for each offense.



In Delaware, anyone convicted of passing a stopped school bus can be fined as much as $230 for the first offense, and as much as $575 for the second offense. The individual will also have their license suspended for between one and 12 months.
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