The News Wheel reports the first school bus was a horse-drawn carriage known as school hacks that moved children to school each morning. By 1914, the car industry had moved schoolchildren to automotive buses where they were safer and more secure. The problems we see with school bus etiquette around the U.S. can be avoided by simply sticking to a few simple rules when driving around a school bus.
Obey the “Stop” sign
The main problem for students when they alight a school bus is the failure of many drivers around them to obey the simplest of rules. We all want our children to stay safe and this means obeying the stop sign that is attached to each school bus and stops at the correct times. The general rules of the road include the need to stop on both sides of the road when it is a two-lane road with all traffic needing to stop when traveling on a four-lane road without a barrier. One a four-lane road with a barrier, the main rule we need to follow is to stop on the side of the road with the bus is stopping on. On the other side of the barrier on a road of four lanes or more, the oncoming traffic should proceed with caution.
A school bus is usually equipped with flashing red lights and a stop sign operated from the side of the vehicle. In many states, a minimum stopping distance is in place that must be obeyed when the stop sign is operated. In Pennsylvania, the law states all drivers must stop a minimum of 10 feet from the end of the school bus they are closest to when the flashing red lights are in operation.
Other states have introduced maximum speed limits for vehicles when the school bus is flashing its amber warning lights. The amber warning lights state the school bus is about to stop or start moving again with a range of laws in place to make sure the children traveling to and from school are safe as they travel. In South Dakota, a two-lane road sees the maximum speed limit for a car traveling around or beside a school bus with flashing amber lights is 20 mph to make this the best way of keeping all students safe.
Waiting for the bus to be in motion
When a bus has stopped, the most important step to take is to stop and keep children entering or leaving the bus safe and secure. When your kid is getting on or leaving a school bus the red lights will be flashing but the amber warning lights will flash when the bus is about to stop. In some states, the law states school bus etiquette must be obeyed with drivers not permitted to overtake a bus when the amber lights are flashing the bus is not in motion. All drivers should wait for the school bus to be in motion before they overtake.
Penalties you may face
There is more to the rules of the road regarding school buses than simply looking to become a better driver and keep all students safe. Instead, the best option is to know the rules to avoid any major penalties from the highway patrol or local law enforcement agencies. In many states, there are a number of laws that must be obeyed regarding your school bus rules that can lead to major punishments, including a driving ban of up to six months and points placed on your license.
When you are approaching a school bus it is vital you have the best option for moving into a different lane or passing the school bus. It is vital to provide adequate room for the school bus to stop safely and children to enter or leave the bus safely. In many states, enjoying a safe ride to and from school is a right guaranteed by law.