Rules for Passing a School Bus in New York

There have been a lot of children injured or killed in the last few days due to people illegally passing a stopped school bus. Perhaps people don't think of the risk, or maybe they are just unaware of the rules. 

  • Before a school bus stops to load or unload passengers, the bus will usually flash yellow warning lights. You should start to slow down and be prepared to stop.

  • When a school bus is stopped with red lights flashing, traffic that approaches from either direction, even in front of the school and in parking lots, must stop before it reaches the bus. You must stop for a school bus even if it is on the opposite side of a divided highway.

  • You should stop at least 20 feet away from the bus. 

  • When you stop for a school bus, you cannot drive until the red lights stop or when the bus driver or traffic officer signals you to proceed. This applies to all roadways in New York.

  • After you stop for a school bus, look for children along side of the road and drive slowly until you've passed them. Most school bus-related deaths and injuries occur while children are crossing the street after getting off the bus, not in collisions that involve school buses.

  • Vehicles that transport people with disabilities can be equipped as school buses. You must treat them as if they are a school bus.

  • If you illegally pass a school bus, you can be fined a minimum of $250 for your first violation and up to a maximum of $1,000 for three violations in three years. If you are convicted of three violations in three years, your license will be revoked for at least six months.

Photo: Getty Images

Chuck and Kelly

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