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Best Guide to School Bus Traffic Stop Laws




UNITED STATES SCHOOL BUS LAWS

Disclaimer: Gardian Angel, LLC is not a lawyer, nor do they claim to be. We make no warranty, expressed or implied, and assume no legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of any information contained herein. Simply put, we know that you are interested in learning when you should stop for a school bus so we complied information from the top sources across the web to help educate you more about this traffic safety topic in one central location rather than scouring through the web like we already have for you.


Lastly, if you have further questions for your specific state we encourage you to contact a lawyer in your area or perhaps visit your local Department of Motor Vehicles and discuss this matter with their staff, and consider ordering the most current edition of your state's Driver's Manual. Please enjoy.


Alabama School Bus Laws

You must stop when you are following or meeting a school bus or church bus stopped on the road while the stop signal arm is extended and displaying flashing red lights. Remain stopped until the stop signal is retracted and red lights are turned off. You should also stop when meeting or following a school or church bus which is stopped on a four to six lane undivided highway. A stop is not required on a divided highway having four or more lanes which permits at least two lanes of traffic to travel in opposite directions when meeting a school or church bus which is stopped in the opposing roadway or if the school or church bus is stopped in a loading zone which is a part of or adjacent to such highway and where pedestrians are not permitted to cross the roadway.

(source: School Training Solutions)


Upon meeting or overtaking in either direction a school bus receiving or discharging children, or a church bus receiving or discharging passengers, driver must stop and not proceed until bus resumes movement or visual signals are no longer actuated. Does not apply to traffic on a 4-lane divided highway moving in the opposite direction.

(source: AAA)



Alaska School Bus Laws

Vehicles must stop when red flashing lights are in operation and stop arm is extended. Drivers meeting and following bus must stop. Driver upon a highway with separated roadways providing two or more lanes in each direction need not stop when approaching a school bus which is headed in the opposite direction even though the bus is stopped and the stop arm is extended and the red flashing lights are activated.

(source: School Training Solutions)


Vehicles must stop for buses when loading or unloading passengers. Vehicles are not required to stop if on the opposite side of a divided highway.

School buses are to be painted “national school bus yellow.”

(source: AAA)


Arizona School Bus Laws

When approaching a school bus that is picking up or dropping off passengers, you must come to a complete stop before reaching the bus, regardless of your direction of travel. A school bus will have alternating flashing lights and a mechanical stop-sign arm extended while passengers are entering or leaving the bus. You must remain stopped until the school bus moves ahead or until the stop-sign arm and flashing lights are no longer shown. You are not required to stop for a school bus on a divided roadway when traveling in the opposite direction. A divided roadway is one in which the road is separated by physical barriers such as a fence, curbing or separation of the pavement. Roadway striping by itself does not constitute a physical separation of the roadway.

(source: School Training Solutions)


Driver’s must stop when buses are stopped and displaying alternately flashing signals except when the school bus is on a different roadway or controlled access highway or stopped in a loading zone where pedestrians are not permitted to enter the roadway.

(source: AAA)



Arkansas School Bus Laws

When approaching a school bus that is stopped and red warning lights on the bus are activated, all approaching vehicles are required to also stop. Regardless of where the driver may be in relation to the bus, whether it’s in the same lane of traffic, opposing lane or at an intersection, traffic must come to a complete stop until the school bus turns off the warning lights and begins to move. Drivers are not required to stop if the school bus is approaching along an opposite lane of travel separated by a median twenty feet or more in width.

(source: School Training Solutions)

Vehicles must stop for school bus loading or unloading, unless on a separate roadway of a highway divided by 20-foot strip.

School buses must be painted “national school bus yellow.”

(source: AAA)


California School Bus Laws

When the bus flashes red lights (located at the top front and back of the bus), you must stop from either direction until the children are safely across the street and the lights stop flashing.

(source: School Training Solutions)


Vehicles must stop upon meeting, from either direction, a school bus that is stopped for loading or unloading children that displays flashing red light signals and a stop signal arm, unless the school bus is on the opposite roadway of a divided highway.

(source: AAA)


Colorado School Bus Laws

You must stop your vehicle at least 20 feet before reaching a school bus that is stopped with its red lights flashing whether it is on your side of the road, the opposite side of the road, or at an intersection you are approaching. You must remain stopped until the flashing red lights are no longer operating. Watch carefully for children near the school bus and children crossing the roadway before proceeding. You are not required to stop if the bus is traveling toward you on a roadway that is separated by a median or other physical barrier.

(source: School Training Solutions)


Upon meeting or overtaking from either direction a school bus that has stopped, a motor vehicle driver must stop at least 20 feet before reaching the bus and not proceed until the visual signal lights are no longer being used.

(source: AAA)


Connecticut School Bus Laws

You must stop for a school bus that is stopped with its red lights flashing whether it is on your side of the road, the opposite side of the road, or at an intersection you are approaching. You are not required to stop if the bus is traveling towards you and a median or other physical barrier separates the roadway.

(source: School Training Solutions)


Vehicles must stop at least ten feet from school buses loading or unloading that display flashing red signal lights. Vehicles from the opposite direction on a parkway or divided highway need not stop.

(source: AAA)



Delaware School Bus Laws

You must always stop before reaching any school bus from either direction when it is stopped to load or unload school children except when you are on the opposite side of a highway having four or more lanes, even then proceed slowly.

(source: School Training Solutions)


When a school bus is stopped on the roadway or shoulder and is displaying flashing lamps, the driver of any vehicle approaching the school bus from the front or from the rear shall stop before passing the bus and remain stopped until such bus begins to move or no longer has the red stop lamps activated. On roadway or roadways with 4 or more lanes, the driver approaching from the front shall not stop.

(source: AAA)


District of Columbia School Bus Laws

A driver of any vehicle shall stop the vehicle at least 15 feet from a school bus when its warning light is flashing, unless the vehicle is on the other side of a divided median.

All school buses shall be painted national school bus chrome.

(source: AAA)


Florida School Bus Laws

On a two way street or highway, all drivers moving in either direction must stop for a stopped school bus which is picking up or dropping off children. You must remain stopped until all children are clear of the roadway and the bus’ stop arm is withdrawn. If the highway is divided by a raised barrier or an unpaved median at least five feet wide, you do not have to stop if you are moving in the opposite direction of the bus. Painted lines or pavement markings are not considered barriers. You must always stop if you are moving in the same direction as the bus and you must remain stopped until the bus stop arm is withdrawn.

(source: School Training Solutions)


Any person using, operating, or driving a vehicle on or over the roads or highways of this state shall, upon approaching any school bus that displays a stop signal bring such vehicle to a full stop while the bus is stopped, and the vehicle shall not pass the school bus until the signal has been withdrawn.

(source: AAA)



Georgia School Bus Laws

Once the flashing lights have turned red and the stop signs have extended from the side of the bus, it is unlawful for any vehicle to pass the stopped school bus while it is loading or unloading passengers. On a highway divided by a median, cars traveling on the opposite side from the stopped school bus are not required to stop.

(source: School Training Solutions)


The driver of a vehicle meeting or overtaking from either direction any school bus stopped on the highway shall stop before reaching the bus when the visual signals indicating that traffic should stop are in operation. School buses are authorized to mount video cameras on the vehicle to record violations of this law.

(source: AAA)



Hawaii School Bus Laws

Whenever a school bus is stopped on a highway with alternating red signal lamps flashing, the driver of any motor vehicle on the same highway in the lane occupied by the school bus and all lanes adjacent to the lane occupied by the school bus shall stop the driver’s vehicle before reaching the school bus and shall not proceed until the school bus resumes motion or the flashing red signal lamps are turned off. However, vehicles proceeding in the opposite direction on a divided highway are not required to stop. A divided highway is two roadways separated by a strip of land or other space not intended for vehicular travel.

(source: School Training Solutions)


Whenever a school bus is stopped on a roadway and its visual signals are activated, the driver of every motor vehicle on the same roadway, in either direction, must stop not less than 20 feet from the school bus and may proceed only when the school bus resumes motion and the visual signals are turned off. This rule does not apply when a bus is traveling on a different or divided roadway.

(source: AAA)



Idaho School Bus Laws

You must stop for a school bus that is loading or unloading students. On a two-lane road, both following and oncoming traffic must stop and remain stopped as long as the red lights near the top of the bus are flashing and/or the stop arm on the left side of the bus is extended. On a highway with two or more lanes going each direction, oncoming traffic is not required to stop when meeting a school bus.

(source: School Training Solutions)


Upon meeting or overtaking a school bus in either direction, a driver must stop and not proceed until the bus resumes movement or visual signals are no longer functioning. Oncoming traffic is not required to stop on a highway of more than 3 lanes even if visual signals are functioning.

(source: AAA)


Illinois School Bus Laws

You must stop before meeting or overtaking a school bus loading or unloading passengers on a two-lane roadway. You must remain stopped until the stop signal arm is no longer extended and the flashing lights are turned off or the driver signals you to pass. You do not always need to stop when meeting a stopped school bus on a roadway with four or more lanes or if you are traveling in the opposite direction of the bus, but you should drive cautiously.

(source: School Training Solutions)


Drivers approaching a school bus from the rear, or from the opposite direction on a 2-lane road, must stop for any school bus receiving or discharging students and may not proceed until the school bus resumes motion or the driver is signaled to proceed by the school bus driver.  Drivers need not stop if traveling from the opposite direction on a road for 4 or more lanes.

(source: AAA)



Indiana School Bus Laws

You must stop when you approach a school bus with flashing red lights activated and stop arm extended. If you are driving on a highway that is divided by a barrier or unimproved median, you are required to stop only if you are traveling in the same direction as the school bus. You do not have to stop if you and a school bus are traveling in opposite directions on a road that has more than two lanes and is separated by a median strip not for vehicle travel.

(source: School Training Solutions)


Vehicles must stop upon meeting, from either direction, a school bus (beginning July 1, 2014, school buses are exempt) that is stopped for loading or unloading children and displays or has recently displayed a stop signal arm. This rule does not apply if the bus is on the opposite roadway of a divided highway.

(source: AAA)



Iowa School Bus Laws

When you meet an oncoming school bus displaying flashing amber lights, you must slow down to no more than 20 mph and be prepared to stop. If the red lights are flashing or if the stop arm is out, you must come to a complete stop at least 15 feet from the bus. You must remain stopped as long as the red lights flash or the stop arm is out. The only exception to this is where you are approaching the bus from the opposite direction on a road with at least two lanes in each direction. When overtaking a school bus, you may not pass when r