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School Bus Traffic Stop Laws

 

Does anyone know definitively the law regarding the rules on when motorists are required to stop when school buses have their flashing red lights on? I am curious about traffic on the other side of the road going the opposite direction of the school bus.

I think some rules vary from state to state so any information on California would be most helpful.

Here is what I've found so far but it seems ambiguous:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/School_bus_traffic_stop_laws

http://www.expertlaw.com/forums/showthread.php?t=35848#

School Bus Laws

Both directions (and all lanes) must stop when a school bus displays the flashing red lights or the stop signs on the side of the bus.

That was the Kalif law when I worked law enforcement.

--
If you ain't got pictures, I wasn't there.

Legal Links

There are links to the various state laws here:

http://www.geocities.com/jusjih/schoolbusstop.html#us

This looks like the specific reference in the California Vehicle Code:

22454. (a) The driver of any vehicle, upon meeting or overtaking,
from either direction, any schoolbus equipped with signs as required
in this code, that is stopped for the purpose of loading or unloading
any schoolchildren and displays a flashing red light signal and stop
signal arm, as defined in paragraph (4) of subdivision (b) of
Section 25257, if equipped with a stop signal arm, visible from front
or rear, shall bring the vehicle to a stop immediately before
passing the schoolbus and shall not proceed past the schoolbus until
the flashing red light signal and stop signal arm, if equipped with a
stop signal arm, cease operation.
(b) (1) The driver of a vehicle upon a divided highway or
multiple-lane highway need not stop upon meeting or passing a
schoolbus that is upon the other roadway.
(2) For the purposes of this subdivision, a multiple-lane highway
is any highway that has two or more lanes of travel in each

--
Nuvi 350, 760, 1695LM, 3790LMT, 2460LMT, 3597LMTHD and TomTom XXL540s

Same as Texas

That sounds the same as Texas. If the road is not divided (center median), both directions must stop. If the road is divided, only the traffic travelling in the same direction as the bus must stop.

Jeff

Sounds the same as Tennessee

Sounds the same as Tennessee law.

Alberta Canada

The laws vary somewhat from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but certain aspects seem to be consistent. In Alberta you must stop in either direction on an undivided roadway, but only those going the same direction have to stop on a divided roadway.

Not clear to me

t923347 wrote:

....
(b) (1) The driver of a vehicle upon a divided highway or multiple-lane highway need not stop upon meeting or passing a schoolbus that is upon the other roadway.
(2) For the purposes of this subdivision, a multiple-lane highway is any highway that has two or more lanes of travel in each

This seems to mean that if you're on a highway with two or more lanes in each direction, you don't need to stop in either direction (meeting or passing). But then what (b) (1) means by "the other roadway"? What other roadway? The other lane perhaps?

School bus laws

In the State of Ohio,you must stop for a school bus dicharging or receiving any school child or person attending programs offered by community boards of mental retardation and developmental disabilities regardless of the direction of travel, unless, you are approaching the school bus on a divided highway from the opposite direction, at which time stops are not required. (ORC 4511.75) From my experience, as an ex-police officer and ex-highway patrol officer, most, if not all, of the states have similar school bus laws.

--
It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible. ----George Washington

New York State

In NY, you are required to stop for a school bus with lights flashing regardless of direction of travel, including on a divided highway.

--
The Moose Is Loose! nuvi 760

Florida Law

(1) If you are going the same way as a school bus that is flashing red lights and has the stop arm extended, you must stop behind the bus and cannot move until the bus retracts the stop arm and turns off the flashing red lights.

(2) If you are going the opposite way as a school bus that is flashing red lights and has the stop arm extended, you must stop in front of the bus and cannot move until the bus retracts the stop arm and turns off the flashing red lights -- UNLESS:

(A) you are on a divided highway and the one-way roadways are separated by an unpaved space at least five feet in width, or

(B) you are on a divided highway and the one-way roadways are separated by a physical barrier.

--
Garmin Nuvi 660,Software Ver. 4.9, Audio 2.0,GPS 3.0, BT 0.00, Canada and US Map 2015.10

SCHOOL BUS

jale wrote:
t923347 wrote:

....
(b) (1) The driver of a vehicle upon a divided highway or multiple-lane highway need not stop upon meeting or passing a schoolbus that is upon the other roadway.
(2) For the purposes of this subdivision, a multiple-lane highway is any highway that has two or more lanes of travel in each

This seems to mean that if you're on a highway with two or more lanes in each direction, you don't need to stop in either direction (meeting or passing). But then what (b) (1) means by "the other roadway"? What other roadway? The other lane perhaps?

The "other" roadway is the one you are not in. You must always stop whenever a school bus has it lights flashing and you are traveling in the same direction.

Arizona Law

t923347 wrote:

There are links to the various state laws here:

http://www.geocities.com/jusjih/schoolbusstop.html#us

This looks like the specific reference in the California Vehicle Code:

22454. (a) The driver of any vehicle, upon meeting or overtaking,
from either direction, any schoolbus equipped with signs as required
in this code, that is stopped for the purpose of loading or unloading
any schoolchildren and displays a flashing red light signal and stop
signal arm, as defined in paragraph (4) of subdivision (b) of
Section 25257, if equipped with a stop signal arm, visible from front
or rear, shall bring the vehicle to a stop immediately before
passing the schoolbus and shall not proceed past the schoolbus until
the flashing red light signal and stop signal arm, if equipped with a
stop signal arm, cease operation.
(b) (1) The driver of a vehicle upon a divided highway or
multiple-lane highway need not stop upon meeting or passing a
schoolbus that is upon the other roadway.
(2) For the purposes of this subdivision, a multiple-lane highway
is any highway that has two or more lanes of travel in each

Just got out of traffic school and this one came up. We are the same as Calif.

--
Larry - Nuvi 680, Nuvi 1690, Nuvi 2797LMT

GA

Same here in GA. both directions must stop if the read is not divided. If the road is divided, only the traffic on same side of road as the bus must stop.

Thanks

Thank you for the responses. Where I am in Southern Cal, I rarely if ever see motorists that are coming from the opposite direction stop when the lights flash on a school bus.

All States

I'm not aware of any state that varies in any significant way.

You have to stop when the lights are flashing, regardless of your direction of travel UNLESS you are on a divided road with a an unpaved section or a physical barrier between the two.

One would think that's pretty simple and easy to understand but its amazing how many people don't stop or even slow down.

I have seen some reports here around Tucson where police have officers and camera IN the bus to bust violators. Now that IS about safety and I fully support that use.

--
Nuvi 2595LMT, Nuvi 1490T, Nuvi 260, GPSMAP 195

Subtle difference

DrewDT wrote:

Thank you for the responses. Where I am in Southern Cal, I rarely if ever see motorists that are coming from the opposite direction stop when the lights flash on a school bus.

You did note the subtle 'multiple-lane highway' (defined as 'two or more lanes of travel in each direction'), right?

That differs from the majority (I'm pretty sure) and would explain it.

ref
http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=veh&gr...

--
It's about the Line- If a line can be drawn between the powers granted and the rights retained, it would seem to be the same thing, whether the latter be secured by declaring that they shall not be abridged, or that the former shall not be extended.

School bus passing

Illinois has similar laws rearding passing stopped school buses with multiple lanes. Paragraph e below. Not all police officers know all provisions -that may be part of the reason they have courts.

§ 625 ILCS 5/11-1414. Approaching, overtaking, and passing school bus

Sec. 11-1414. Approaching, overtaking, and passing school bus. (a) The driver of a vehicle shall stop such vehicle before meeting or overtaking, from either direction, any school bus stopped at any location for the purpose of receiving or discharging pupils. Such stop is required before reaching the school bus when there is in operation on the school bus the visual signals as specified in Sections 12-803 and 12-805 of this Code [625 ILCS 5/12-803 and 625 ILCS 5/12-805]. The driver of the vehicle shall not proceed until the school bus resumes motion or the driver of the vehicle is signaled by the school bus driver to proceed or the visual signals are no longer actuated.

(b) The stop signal arm required by Section 12-803 of this Code [625 ILCS 5/12-803] shall be extended after the school bus has come to a complete stop for the purpose of loading or discharging pupils and shall be closed before the school bus is placed in motion again. The stop signal arm shall not be extended at any other time.

(c) The alternately flashing red signal lamps of an 8-lamp flashing signal system required by Section 12-805 of this Code [625 ILCS 5/12-805] shall be actuated after the school bus has come to a complete stop for the purpose of loading or discharging pupils and shall be turned off before the school bus is placed in motion again. The red signal lamps shall not be actuated at any other time except as provided in paragraph (d) of this Section.

(d) The alternately flashing amber signal lamps of an 8-lamp flashing signal system required by Section 12-805 of this Code [625 ILCS 5/12-805] shall be actuated continuously during not less than the last 100 feet traveled by the school bus before stopping for the purpose of loading or discharging pupils within an urban area and during not less than the last 200 feet traveled by the school bus outside an urban area. The amber signal lamps shall remain actuated until the school bus is stopped. The amber signal lamps shall not be actuated at any other time.

(d-5) The alternately flashing head lamps permitted by Section 12-805 of this Code [625 ILCS 5/12-805] may be operated while the alternately flashing red or amber signal lamps required by that Section are actuated.

(e) The driver of a vehicle upon a highway having 4 or more lanes which permits at least 2 lanes of traffic to travel in opposite directions need not stop such vehicle upon meeting a school bus which is stopped in the opposing roadway; and need not stop such vehicle when driving upon a controlled access highway when passing a school bus traveling in either direction that is stopped in a loading zone adjacent to the surfaced or improved part of the controlled access highway where pedestrians are not permitted to cross.

Ohio correction

maddog67 wrote:

In the State of Ohio,you must stop for a school bus dicharging or receiving any school child or person attending programs offered by community boards of mental retardation and developmental disabilities regardless of the direction of travel, unless, you are approaching the school bus on a divided highway from the opposite direction, at which time stops are not required. (ORC 4511.75) From my experience, as an ex-police officer and ex-highway patrol officer, most, if not all, of the states have similar school bus laws.

You may want to review 4511.75 (C) which states in part "Where a highway has been divided into four or more traffic lanes, a driver of a vehicle, streetcar, or trackless trolley need not stop for a school bus approaching from the opposite direction...."

In Ohio if the roadway has 4 or more lanes then the opposite direction needs not to stop. School busses are required by section (D) to pick up and drop off children on the side of the street where there residence is so the kids do not have to cross the street on 4 lane roads.

Knowing the laws

I wonder how many people know the laws regarding the requirement to stop both ways. It's either people know and ignore the law or many just don't know judging from what I've witnessed.

Stopping for school buses

sushidan141 wrote:
maddog67 wrote:

In the State of Ohio,you must stop for a school bus dicharging or receiving any school child or person attending programs offered by community boards of mental retardation and developmental disabilities regardless of the direction of travel, unless, you are approaching the school bus on a divided highway from the opposite direction, at which time stops are not required. (ORC 4511.75) From my experience, as an ex-police officer and ex-highway patrol officer, most, if not all, of the states have similar school bus laws.

You may want to review 4511.75 (C) which states in part "Where a highway has been divided into four or more traffic lanes, a driver of a vehicle, streetcar, or trackless trolley need not stop for a school bus approaching from the opposite direction...."

In Ohio if the roadway has 4 or more lanes then the opposite direction needs not to stop. School busses are required by section (D) to pick up and drop off children on the side of the street where there residence is so the kids do not have to cross the street on 4 lane roads.

You are correct on that point. I stand corrected. I was just trying to simplify the point and not muddy the waters, so to speak.

--
It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible. ----George Washington

Atlantic Canada

Stop both ways if the school bus is stopped and flashing red lights. If highway is divided, stop in direction of school bus and use extreme caution if approaching a school bus stopped on the other side of a divided highway. I'm almost positive this applies to all four Atlantic provinces - New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland & Labrador.

--
Tom

It is different in Illinois

PGJWFG wrote:

Illinois has similar laws rearding passing stopped school buses with multiple lanes.

(e) The driver of a vehicle upon a highway having 4 or more lanes which permits at least 2 lanes of traffic to travel in opposite directions need not stop such vehicle upon meeting a school bus which is stopped in the opposing roadway; and need not stop such vehicle when driving upon a controlled access highway when passing a school bus traveling in either direction that is stopped in a loading zone adjacent to the surfaced or improved part of the controlled access highway where pedestrians are not permitted to cross.

Right, this is the law in Illinois, and note that is more lenient for the motorist than the law in most other states which require stops on roads with two or more lanes in each direction unless, in those states, the road is divided. In Illinois, if it's two or more lanes in each direction, even undivided, traffic coming towards the school bus does NOT have to stop. Traffic coming towards the school bus does have to stop in Illinois, of course, on roads with one lane in each direction.

Part of the reason they have this difference in Illinois is that by custom, on roads with two or more lanes in each direction, the school buses do not let students exit and then cross to the opposite side of the road. If the bus has students who need to get to the other side of a four-plus lane road, the bus turns around and comes back the other way before letting those students out on the other side.

HOWEVER, in my town, the main north-south road through town has two lanes in each direction, and when school buses stop, most cars going the other way do observe the stricter standard and stop anyway. Perhaps many of them don't realize they're not required to do this under Illinois' law, and perhaps some of them do but are more concerned with student safety than with saving some time.

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