State Police, PennDOT warn drivers to be alert for school buses

September 1, 2018
A school bus stop sign.

Pennsylvania State Police and PennDOT are reminding drivers to be alert and cautious of school buses that will be on the road as school starts this month.

State law requires that drivers approaching a stopped school bus with stop sign extended and red lights flashing should stop at least 10 feet away from the school bus, whether approaching from behind or from the opposite direction.

The driver of a vehicle approaching an intersection where a school bus is stopped should stop at that intersection until the flashing red signal lights are no longer on.

Drivers can face a $250 fine, a 60-day driver’s license suspension and 5 points on their driving record if they break the law.

According to the PennDOT website, if physical barriers such as grassy medians, guide rails or concrete median barriers separate oncoming traffic from the bus, drivers in the opposing lanes may proceed without stopping.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said school buses continue to be the safest vehicle on our roads. Even though school buses are safe, police urge parents and caregivers to discuss with their children the importance of school bus safety and the potential dangers of other vehicles approaching a stopped school bus.

PennDOT offers these safety tips:When waiting for the bus, stay away from traffic and line up at least five giant steps away from the curb or the roadway to wait for the busNever run after the school bus if it has already left the bus stopNever push when getting on or off of the school busAlways walk at least 10 feet in front of the bus when crossing so that the school bus driver can see youWhen the school bus is moving, always stay in your seat and never put your head, arms or hands out of the windowNever cross the street behind the school busNever speak to strangers at the bus stop and never get into a car with a stranger

Visit www.penndot.gov and www.nhtsa.gov for additional information on school bus safety.

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