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School Bus Laws By State: When to stop and when not to!

School Bus Laws

School bus laws vary from state to state. Many drivers are confused about the exact school bus laws in their local area and don’t understand the proper right of way rules. In fact, it is estimated that over 50,000 motorists illegally pass buses every single day in the state of New York alone! . This quick guide will help you determine the exact school bus laws in your state.

School Bus Right Of Way Rules For Non-Divided Highways

In almost all states, it is law to stop for a stopped child carrying bus whether you are approaching or are behind the bus on a non-divided roadway. An exception to this rule is Washington State where you may pass a stopped bus as long as the roadway is 3 lanes or more and you are in an opposing lane. The same holds true in Ohio when a roadway has 4 lanes or more. But in every other state, as long as you are on a non-divided roadway, you must stop for a bus unloading school children.

School Bus Right Of Way Rules For Divided Highways

On a divided highway, you do not have to stop for a stopped school bus, even if the lights are flashing, as long as you are in the opposing traffic lanes. This is true for all states except:

  • West Virginia
  • Arkansas – When the divider is less than 20ft wide
  • Mississippi
  • New York State

School Bus Laws Listed By State

Simply choose your state below to find the exact school bus laws where you live.

Alabama School Bus Laws

Many school buses activate amber flashing lights well in advance of the stop to warn other drivers. Flashing amber lights are a pre-warning that the bus is preparing to stop to load or unload children. In rural areas, the lights are used at least 300 feet before stopping and in municipalities at least 100 feet.

Flashing red lights and extended stop area means that the bus is stopped to either load or unload school children. When approaching from either direction, you must stop at least 20 feet away when you see red flashing lights on a school bus. You can learn more in the Alabama driver’s handbook .

school bus maximum travel time

Alaska School Bus Laws

Drivers approaching a school bus from the rear may not pass the school bus when red signal lights are flashing and shall bring their vehicles to a com- plete stop before reaching the school bus when it is stopped. The vehicles shall remain stopped until the stop sign is retracted, the flashing red lights are discontinued and the school bus resumes motion, or until signaled by the driver to proceed.

Drivers approaching a school bus on which the yellow/amber warning signal lights are flashing shall reduce the speed of their vehicles and shall bring the vehicle to a complete stop when the school bus stops, red lights flash, and stop sign is extended. The vehicles shall remain stopped until stop sign is retracted and the red lights are discontinued after which they may proceed with due caution. 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.

Learn more in the Alaska driver manual .

Alaska School Bus Laws

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. Watch for children crossing the road in front of, or behind the school bus.

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.

The following image is an example of an undivided roadway. You must stop for any school bus with flashing lights if its stop-sign arm is out.

Arizona School Bus Laws Undevided Highway

Below is an example of a divided roadway and you may proceed with caution if the school bus is in approaching lanes but not if it is stopped in your direction of traffic.

Arizona School Bus Laws Divided Highway

Learn more in the Arizona driver handbook.

Arkansas School Bus Laws

When approaching a stopped school bus with its red lights flashing, a driver is required to make a complete stop until the lights are turned off. No matter where your vehicle is positioned with the bus whether it’s in the same lane of traffic, opposing lane or at an intersection, YOU MUST MAKE A COMPLETE STOP!

The driver must never attempt to pass in any direction until the school bus has finished receiving or discharging its passengers and begins moving without its red lights flashing.

Drivers are not required to stop, if the school bus is approaching along an opposite lane of travel separated by a median twenty (20) feet or more in width. School buses are required to stop at all railroad crossings.

Two Lane Roadway: When a school bus stops for passengers, all traffic from both directions must stop.

Two Lane Roadway With A Center Turning Lane: When a school bus stops for passengers, all traffic from both directions must stop.

Four Lane Roadway Without A Median: When a school bus stops for passengers, all traffic from both directions must stop.

Divided Highway With Four Lanes Or More With A Median Separation: When a school bus stops for passengers, only traffic following the bus must stop.

Arkansas School Bus Laws Median

Drivers passing a stopped school bus with red lights flashing upon conviction will be charged as a Class A misdemeanor. A fine of a minimum of $250 not to exceed $1000, up to ninety (90) days jail and/or both. Drivers who fail to obey this law and cause the death of a person will be charged with a felony.

Isaac’s Law (§5-10-105): A person who violates this law is subject to Class C Felony, for negligent homicide if he or she negligently causes the death of another person.

Learn more in the Arkansas driver handbook.

California School Bus Laws

Stopped school buses and children crossing the street. Some school buses flash yellow lights when preparing to stop to let children off the bus. The yellow flashing lights warn you to slow down and prepare to stop. 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. The law requires you remain stopped as long as the red lights are flashing (CVC §22454). If you fail to stop, you may be fined up to $1,000 and your driving privilege could be suspended for 1 year. If the school bus is on the other side of a divided or multilane highway (two or more lanes in each direction), you do not need to stop. Learn more in the

California driver handbook .

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 school bus is traveling toward you on a roadway that is separated by a median or other physical barrier.

Learn more in the Colorado driver handbook .

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. After the school bus red lights have stopped flashing, watch for children along the side of the road and do not proceed until they have completely left the roadway and it is safe to proceed. Learn more in the Connecticut driver handbook .

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.

Yellow Lights – School buses have two overhead alternately flashing yellow lights both front and rear. They will be activated approximately 10 seconds prior to the overhead flashing red lights to warn drivers of approaching vehicles that a stop to load or unload school children is about to be made. Approach a bus flashing these yellow lights with caution and anticipate a stop. Children may be waiting for the bus or may be running to board it.

Red Lights – The overhead alternately flashing red lights and stop arm will be activated when the bus is stopped to pick up and discharge pupils. You must not proceed until the red lights have stopped flashing, and the stop arm has been retracted, then proceed cautiously.

Delaware School Bus Laws

If any vehicle is witnessed by a police officer, school bus operator, or school crossing guard to be in violation of the school bus stop law and the operator is not otherwise apparent, it shall be assumed that the person in whose name the vehicle is registered committed such violation.

Whoever is convicted of passing a stopped school bus with overhead and stop arm red lights flashing shall, for the first offense, be fined not less than $115.00 nor more than $230.00, or imprisoned not less than 30 days nor more than 60 days, or both. For each subsequent like offense occurring within three years, such person shall be fined not less than $115.00 nor more than $575.00, and imprisoned not less than 60 days nor more than six months.

Upon conviction for passing a stopped school bus with overhead and stop arm red lights flashing, the Division of Motor Vehicles shall suspend the driver license and/ or driving privilege for a period of one month for a first offense, six months for a second offense, or one year for a third or further subsequent violation occurring within three years of a prior violation. A conditional license may be issued following a suspension for a second offense after serving a minimum period of suspension without driving authority of three months. A conditional license may be issued following a suspension for a third or further subsequent offense after serving a minimum period of suspension without driving authority of six months.

No driving authority is permitted during the one-month suspension for a first offense.

Learn more in the Delaware driver handbook.

School Bus Laws For The District Of Columbia

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.

Florida School Bus Laws

It is against the law for any driver to pass a school bus when the school bus displays a stop signal.

On a two-way street or highway, all drivers moving in either direction must stop for a stopped school bus that is picking up or dropping off children. You must remain stopped until the stop signal is withdrawn and all children are clear of the roadway.

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 stop signal is withdrawn.

Florida School Bus Laws

Learn more in the Florida driver handbook.

Georgia School Bus Laws

When a school bus is preparing to stop to load or unload children, the driver of the bus will activate flashing yellow lights. When these flashing yellow lights are activated, all drivers approaching the school bus should slow down and be prepared to stop. All drivers should pay special attention to children who may be walking along or crossing the roadway. 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, however, drivers should remain attentive for children walking along or crossing the roadway.

In most cases, all drivers are required to stop when approaching or meeting a stopped school bus that has its lights flashing and is loading or unloading passengers. The exception to this rule is when highways are separated in the center by median strips. In this situation, only vehicles following or traveling alongside a school bus in the same direction must stop.

A warning will be given in advance by the flashing red or amber lights on the front and rear of the bus. After stopping, you must remain stopped until the bus resumes motion or deactivates its warning signals AND all loading or unloading passengers have cleared the roadway.

Learn more in the Georgia drivers guide.

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. Failure to comply with this law (291C-95, HRS) can cost you $1,000.

Hawaii School Bus Laws

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.

Motorists traveling at the time school buses make their runs should be on the alert. The presence of school children waiting along the roadway in the morning indicates a school bus is in the area. In addition, there is a possibility of waiting for children darting in front of traffic.

Learn more in the Hawaii driver handbook.

Idaho School Bus Laws

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.

You must stop when approaching a school bus that is displaying flashing red lights while stopped to pick up or drop off children. You must remain stopped until all children are clear of the roadway and the bus moves again.

You do not have to stop if you are traveling in the opposite direction on roadways with four or more lanes if two lanes are going in each direction

Learn more in the Idaho driver handbook.

Illinois School Bus Laws

The only time a vehicle is not required to stop for a school bus is when both vehicles are on a four-lane roadway and the bus is stopped in the opposite direction from which a driver is traveling.

Any other time, a driver must stop before meeting or overtaking (passing) a school bus that is stopped and loading or unloading passengers. This includes:

  • Any two-lane roadway, in rural areas and within city limits.
  • Any roadway, highway or private road.
  • Any parking lot located on school property

A warning will be given by the school bus at least 100 feet (200 feet in rural areas) in advance of a stop. The bus driver will flash lights on the front and rear of the bus. The school bus stop signal arm will be extended after the school bus has come to a complete stop. A driver approaching a school bus from the opposite direction must come to a complete stop and remain stopped until the stop signal arm is no longer extended and the flashing lights are turned off or the school bus driver signals vehicles to pass.

A conviction for passing a stopped school bus with flashing lights and the stop arm extended will result in the suspension of an individual’s driver’s license. If the owner(s) of the vehicle were not driving when the offense occurred, they must provide the State’s Attorney’s Office with the name of the person driving the vehicle or their vehicle registration will be suspended for three months.

Learn more in the Illinois driver handbook.

Indiana School Bus Laws

School buses are equipped with both amber and red flashing lights. When the school bus driver activates the amber lights, he or she is warning other drivers that the bus is slowing and is going to load or unload children. Once the bus stops, the red lights and stop arm will be activated.

You must stop when you approach a school bus with flashing red lights activated and stop arm extended. If you are driving on a roadway 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.

The biggest threat to children who ride a bus to school is not the bus ride, but approaching or leaving the bus. When approaching a bus stop:

  • Watch for children playing or congregating near bus stops
  • Be aware that children arriving late for the bus may dart into the street without looking
  • Be prepared to stop when yellow flashing lights appear on the bus, which warn drivers the bus will be coming to a stop

Disregarding a school bus stop arm can be considered reckless driving, a Class B Misdemeanor, and is punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000.

Take note that school buses stop at railroad crossings. Rear-end collisions involving school buses stopped at railroad crossings have increased in recent years.

Learn more in the Indiana driver guidebook.

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 red or amber warning lights are flashing.

After a school bus has stopped to let students off, watch for children on the side of the road.

Learn more in the Iowa driver’s manual.

Kansas School Bus Laws

You must stop when meeting or overtaking a school bus, church bus or daycare bus that is stopped to pick up or let off children. You must remain stopped until the STOP signal is retracted and the red lights are turned off. Traffic approaching a school bus in the opposing roadway of a divided highway is not required to stop.

You must stop for a school bus that is stopped with its red lights flashing and/or stop arm extended. After the school bus red lights have stopped flashing and the stop arm is no longer visible, watch for children along the side of the road and do not proceed until it is safe, after they have completely left the roadway.

You must stop for a school bus when there are two solid yellow lines between lanes of traffic whether the school bus is on your side of the road or on the opposite side of the road.

You must stop for a school bus when there is a center turning lane between the roadways, whether the school bus is on your side of the road or on the opposite side of the road.

You must stop for a school bus when you are on a multi-lane highway, whether the school bus is on your side of the road or on the opposite side of the road.

You must stop for a school bus when you are at an intersection, whether the school bus is on your side of the road or on the opposite side of the road.

You are not required to stop if the bus is traveling towards you and the roadway is separated by a median or other physical barrier.

Learn more in the Kansas driving handbook.

Kentucky School Bus Laws

Where there are school buses, there are usually children. Children are likely to do something unexpected, so be prepared. When you come to a school or church bus that is stopped on any roadway to load or unload passengers, you must stop. By law, you must remain stopped until all people are clear of the roadway and the bus is in motion. A stop is NOT required when approaching a stopped bus from the opposite direction upon a highway of four or more lanes. However, a stop is required when following a bus that is stopped on a two-lane road or you are going in the opposite direction of the bus on a highway that has less than four lanes, as they are generally not divided.

Kentucky School Bus Laws

Learn more in the Kentucky driver manual.

Louisiana School Bus Laws

You must stop at least thirty feet from a stopped school bus that is loading or unloading children. All 50 states have a law that makes it illegal to pass a school bus that is loading or unloading children. Always be prepared to stop when lights are flashing. Bus drivers will activate the flashing yellow lights of the bus at least 100 feet but no more than 500 feet before the school bus stop. As the bus comes to a complete stop, the flashing red lights and stop signs will activate. Wait for the vehicle to move and scan before starting to drive again. This is required by law whether you are meeting the bus or traveling behind it.

You do not have to stop when the bus is stopped in a loading zone completely off the roadway and where the pedestrians are not allowed to cross the roadway. If you are following a bus, increase your following distance in order to get a better view. Anticipate the bus stopping at its’ pickup and drop off points. Never pass a bus with its red lights flashing on the right or on the left. Buses typically travel at lower rates of speed and make frequent stops. During the school year school buses are most likely to be on the road during a three hour period in the morning and a three hour period in the afternoon.

Louisiana Driving Laws 1

When a school bus is stopped in opposite lanes on a roadway separated by a ditch, grassy median, elevated concrete barrier or any obstacle that prevents traffic from driving thereon, you are not required to stop. Drivers are also not required to stop for a stopped school bus when traveling on four lane or five lane roadways which are separated by a dedicated two-way left turn lane. Drivers must stop on a four lane roadway when it is not separated by a barrier.

Louisiana School Bus Laws 2

Learn more in the Louisiana driver’s guide.

Maine School Bus Laws

Where there are school buses, there are usually children. And children are likely to do something unexpected.

It is illegal to pass a stopped school bus with red lights flashing on school property, on any undivided highway or parking area in Maine. If you are approaching a stopped school bus from either direction, with its red lights flashing, you must bring your vehicle to a complete stop in front or rear of the school bus and wait while children are getting on or off the bus. You must not proceed until the bus resumes motion or until signaled by the school bus driver to do so. Violations carry severe penalties.

Maine School Bus Laws

Learn more in the Maine motorist handbook.

Maryland School Bus Laws

If a school vehicle has stopped on a roadway and is operating flashing red lights, the driver of any other vehicle on the roadway shall stop at least 20 feet from the school vehicle, and may not proceed until the school vehicle either resumes motion or the red lights are deactivated.

Drivers on the opposite side of a divided highway are not required to stop.

Drivers may not obstruct, hinder, or interfere with a school bus driver or individuals providing public transportation.

Monitoring cameras may be placed on county school buses to record other vehicles committing violations relating to overtaking and passing school vehicles.

School buses may not be operated at a speed exceeding 50 mph.

Maryland School Bus Laws

Learn more in the Maryland driver handbook.

Massachusetts School Bus Laws

Yellow school buses have flashing red lights and stop signs that fold out from the driver’s side. School pupil transport vehicles, like vans, station wagons, or family sedans, have flashing red lights and SCHOOL BUS signs on top. Drivers use these warning signals when letting pupils on and off.

If a school bus or a school pupil transport vehicle has its lights flashing and a stop sign extended, you must stop. It is the law. It does not matter which side of the road you are traveling on. Remain stopped until the lights stop flashing or the stop sign folds back.

A first violation of this law can cause a license suspension and a $250 fine.

Even after the warning signals have stopped, you should proceed slowly and continue to look for children.

The only exception to this law is if a school bus has stopped on the other side of a divided highway with a barrier between travel directions. In this case, you do not have to stop.

Learn more in the Massachusetts driver’s manual.

Michigan School Bus Laws

Use extra care around buses and in school zones. Children are small and hard to see and may dart into the street or out from around parked vehicles.

Never drive around a school bus with its red overhead lights flashing; it is picking up or dropping off passengers. It is not necessary to stop for a school bus stopped on the other side of a divided highway, where the road is separated by a barrier such as a concrete or grass median, island or other structures that separate the flow of traffic. See Figure 4.1.

Fines for failing to stop for a school bus are double what would normally be assessed for a moving violation. Increased fines and imprisonment may result for violations resulting in injury or death.

Michigan School Bus Laws

Learn more in the Michigan driver handbook.

Minnesota School Bus Laws

School buses are equipped with yellow and red lights that flash alternately to warn drivers that they are stopping to load or unload students.

Flassing Yellow Lights – Flashing yellow lights will be activated at least 100 feet before a school bus stops in a speed zone of 35 mph or less, and at least 300 feet before it stops in a speed zone of more than 35 mph. It is against the law to pass on the right side of a school bus while it is displaying red or yellow flashing lights.

Flashing Red Lights – Flashing red lights warn motorists that the school bus is loading or unloading students. When a school bus is stopped with its red lights flashing and its stop arm extended, you must stop your vehicle at least 20 feet from the bus. Oncoming traffic and motorists approaching the bus from behind may not move until the stop arm is retracted and the red lights are no longer flashing. You can be charged with a misdemeanor if you violate either of these laws. The penalty for this violation is a fine of not less than $500, and withdrawal of your driving privileges.

Passing A School Bus – It is illegal to pass a school bus when its red lights are flashing and its stop arm is extended. You are not required to stop for a school bus with its red lights flashing if it is on the opposite side of a separated roadway. A law enforcement officer with probable cause to believe a driver has violated this law may arrest the driver within four hours of the violation.

When a vehicle is used to violate the school bus stop arm law, the owner or lessee of the vehicle is guilty of a petty misdemeanor. However, if the owner or lessee of the vehicle can prove that another person was driving the vehicle at the time of the stop arm violation, the driver — not the owner or lessee — will be charged with the violation.

When you apply for a driver’s license, you must certify, by signing the application, that you understand that you must stop for a school bus and are aware of the penalties for violating this law.

Learn more in the Minnesota driver’s manual.

Mississippi School Bus Laws

Take special care in school zones and when sharing the road with school buses; do everything in your power to protect our children. A school bus is every vehicle owned by a public or governmental agency, or privately owned and operated for compensation; for the transportation of children to and from school.

YOU MUST STOP FOR A SCHOOL BUS, regardless of your direction, whenever the bus is stopped and receiving or discharging children. You may not proceed until all children have safely crossed the street.

1. (a.) The driver of any vehicle meeting or overtaking any school bus that has stopped for the purpose of receiving or discharging any school children shall come to a complete stop at least ten (10) feet from the school bus before reaching the school bus when there is in operation on the school bus the flashing red lights provided in Section 63-7-23, or when a retractable, hand-operated stop sign is extended; the driver shall not proceed until the children have crossed the street or highway and the school bus has resumed motion or the flashing red lights are no longer actuated and the hand-operated stop sign is retracted.

(b.) The driver of a vehicle upon a highway that has four (4) lanes or more, whether or not there is a median or turn lane, need not stop upon meeting or passing a school bus that is on a different roadway or when upon a controlled-access highway if the school bus is stopped in a loading zone that is a part of or adjacent to the highway and where pedestrians are not permitted to cross the roadway.

2. (a.) A first conviction there shall be fined not less than Three Hundred Fifty Dollars ($350.00) nor more than Seven Hundred Fifty Dollars ($750.00), or imprisoned for not more than one (1) year, or both. For a second or subsequent offense, the offenses being committed within a period of five (5) years, the person shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not less than Seven Hundred Dollars ($750.00) nor more than One Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($1,500.00), or imprisoned for not more than one (1) year, or both. In addition, the Commissioner of Public Safety or his duly authorized designee, after conviction for a second or subsequent offense and upon receipt of the court abstract, shall suspend the driver’s license and driving privileges of the person for a period of ninety (90) day.

If the driver of any vehicle is witnessed by a law enforcement officer or the driver of a school bus to have violated this section and the identity of the driver of the vehicle is not otherwise apparent, it shall be a rebuttable inference that the person in whose name the vehicle is registered committed the violation. If charges are filed against multiple owners of a motor vehicle, only one (1) of the owners may be convicted and court costs may be assessed against only one (1) of the owners. If the vehicle that is involved in the violation is registered in the name of a rental or leasing company and the vehicle is rented or leased to another person at the time of the violation, the rental or leasing company may rebut the inference of quilt by providing the law enforcement officer or prosecuting authority with a copy of the rental or lease agreement in effect at the time of the violation.

Learn more in the Mississippi driver’s manual.

Missouri School Bus Laws

When a school bus stops to load or unload school children, the driver activates the mechanical and electrical signaling devices to notify other drivers of an impending stop. Amber warning lights will flash 500 feet before the bus comes to a designated stop. When the school bus is stopped, the alternate flashing red lights and the stop signal arm are activated. Oncoming and following traffic must stop before they reach the bus when these signals are activated. You must stop:

  • On a two-lane road that is a one-way street.

No driver of a school bus shall take on or discharge passengers at any location upon a highway consisting of four or more lanes of traffic, whether or not divided by a median or barrier, in such a manner as to require the passengers to cross more than two lanes of traffic. The following are situations when you do not have to stop:

When you are traveling the opposite direction of a school bus on a highway divided by a median where the vehicles traveling one direction are on a totally separate road from the vehicles traveling the opposite direction;

  • When you are traveling the opposite direction of a school bus on a highway containing four or more lanes of traffic; or
  • When a school bus is stopped in a loading zone (at a school) where students are not permitted to cross the roadway.

After stopping for a school bus that is unloading school children, watch for school children walking along the side of the road. You must remain stopped until the bus moves or the bus driver signals for you to proceed. Proceed with caution.

Learn more in the Missouri driver guide here.

Montana School Bus Laws

Let’s give our children a “brake.” Every child is a human caution sign and as unpredictable as Montana’s weather. Upon meeting or passing from either direction any school bus stopped with its red lights flashing, the driver of a vehicle must stop at least 30 feet from the bus and cannot proceed until the red lights are turned off. If you approach a bus from either direction that is slowing down in preparation to stop to load passengers, or a bus displaying a yellow flashing light, you must slow down and proceed carefully. Keep in mind that the bus is about to stop and children may be in the road. You do not need to stop if meeting or passing a school bus that is on a different road or is stopped in an adjacent loading zone where pedestrians are not allowed to cross the road.

When driving past a school, slow down and watch for children DAY and NIGHT. Kids go back to use the playground at all hours. Develop the habit of checking your speed when nearing any school. BE ALERT.

Montana School Bus Laws

Learn more in the Montana driver manual.

Nebraska School Bus Laws

Always be alert for students on or near the roadway when a school bus is stopped.

Nebraska School Bus Laws

Overhead ­Amber ­Warning ­Lights

  • When a school bus is about to stop and load or unload children, the bus driver activates amber warning lights.
  • When meeting or overtaking a bus, slow to 25 MPH and prepare to stop.
  • The amber warning lights will stay on until the bus door opens.

­Overhead ­Red ­STOP ­Lights/STOP­ Arm

  • When the bus driver opens the bus door, the red stop lights and STOP arm activates.
  • Stop and remain stopped until the bus driver retracts the stop arm and deactivates the red warning lights.
  • Stop a reasonable distance from the bus.

When ­You ­Must ­Stop

  • Not stopping when approaching or overtaking a school bus which has stop lights on and the stop arm extended is unlawful. The only exception occurs when approaching a school bus in the opposite direction on a roadway divided by a median.
  • topping is required in the following situation:

School Bus Laws Nebraska

Learn more in the Nevada drivers handbook here.

Nevada School Bus Laws

Nevada School Bus Laws

You are required to stop for school buses that are loading or unloading students. NRS 484B.353 requires a driver to stop at any location for a school bus displaying a flashing red light signal. You may not attempt to overtake or proceed past the school bus until the bus driver has turned off the flashing red lights. There is one exception to this rule: on divided highways, you are only required to stop when you are traveling in the same direction as the school bus. Nevada law allows school bus drivers to report violations to the school district and the Department of Motor Vehicles. When this occurs, the registered owner of the vehicle will be sent a warning letter explaining the seriousness of the violation.

Learn more in the Nevada Driver Handbook.

New Hampshire School Bus Laws

A school bus is a vehicle that can be identified by large “School Bus” signs on the front and back of the vehicle, or a yellow bus marked with the words “School Bus” in black letters.

Whenever you approach a school bus from any direction, which has stopped to pick up or let off passengers while operating its flashing red lights, you must stop your vehicle at least 25 feet from the school bus. The only time you do not have to stop is when you are on the other side of a divided highway.

You must stay stopped until the bus has started again or the bus driver stops operating the flashing red lights. You may meet a school bus traveling with flashing yellow lights. This means that the school bus is about to stop and operate its red lights, so you should slow and be ready to stop.

Always use great care when approaching a stopped or slow-moving school bus. The bus is a warning that children are in the area and may suddenly run into the road.

Learn more in the New Hampshire driver’s manual.

New Jersey School Bus Laws

A motorist must stop for a school bus with flashing red lights. State law requires a motorist to stop at least 25 feet away if he/she is traveling on a two-lane road or on a multi-lane highway where lanes are only separated by lines, or on a privately maintained road. When traveling on a dual-lane highway, a motorist should slow to 10 mph if on the other side of a safety island or raised median. School buses are equipped with yellow (or amber) and red flashing lights. The yellow (or amber) lights go on before the bus stops and the red lights go on when the bus has stopped.

However, a motorist should not depend on these lights, if driving behind a school bus. They could be malfunctioning. When a school bus stops, all motorists traveling behind or approaching the bus must stop their vehicles at least 25 feet away. A motorist should only proceed after the bus signals have been turned off and even then, he/she must watch for children or persons who have developmental disabilities.

New Jersey School Bus Laws

If a school bus has stopped directly in front of a school to pick up or let off children or persons with developmental disabilities, a motorist may pass from either direction at a speed of no more than 10 mph.

Learn more in the New Jersey driver manual.

New Mexico 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 the roadway is separated by a median or other physical barrier. After the school bus red lights have stopped flashing, watch for children along the side of the road and do not proceed until they have completely left the roadway and it is safe to proceed.

Learn more in the New Mexico driver guide.

New York School Bus Laws

When a stopped school bus flashes its red light(s), traffic that approaches from either direction, even in front of the school and in school parking lots, must stop before it reaches the bus. You should stop at least 20 feet (6 m) away from the bus. You can identify this bus by a “SCHOOL BUS” sign, the red lights on the top and its unique yellow-orange color.

Before a school bus stops to load or discharge passengers, the driver will usually flash warning lights, which are located on the front and back of the bus near the roof. When you see them, decrease speed and be prepared to stop.

When you stop for a school bus, you cannot drive again until the red lights stop flashing or when the bus driver or a traffic officer signals that you can proceed. This law applies to all roadways in New York State. You must stop for a school bus even if it is on the opposite side of a divided highway.

After you stop for a school bus, look for children along the side of the road. Drive slowly until you have passed them.

Safety Tip: Most school bus-related deaths and injuries occur while children cross the street after being discharged from the bus, not in collisions that involve school buses.

Remember that vehicles that transport disabled persons can be equipped as school buses and you must stop for them as you would for other school buses.

The fine when you pass a stopped school bus ranges from a minimum of $400 for a first violation to a maximum of $1,500 for three violations in three years. If you are convicted of three of these violations in three years, your driver license will be revoked for a minimum of six months.

Learn more in the New York drivers handbook.

North Carolina School Bus Laws

The maximum speed limit for a school bus is 45 mph. School bus drivers travel more than half a million miles and transport almost three-quarters of a million children each school day. During the hours that school buses are operating (generally 7 – 9 a.m. and 2 – 4 p.m.), drivers should be especially careful. When a school bus displays its mechanical stop signal or flashing red lights to receive or discharge passengers, the driver of any other vehicle approaching the school bus must stop and not attempt to pass the school bus until the mechanical stop signal is withdrawn, the flashing red lights are turned off and the bus has started to move.

Children waiting for the bus or leaving the bus might dart out into traffic. Even when the school bus is not in sight, children at a bus stop sometimes will run into the street unexpectedly. Always be careful around school buses and school bus stops.

Below are specific rules for a variety of situations involving stopped school buses:

Two-lane roadway: When a school bus stops for passengers, all traffic from both directions must stop.

North Carolina School Bus Laws 1

Two-lane roadway with a center turning lane: When a school bus stops for passengers, all traffic from both directions must stop.

North Carolina School Bus Laws 5

Four-lane roadway without a median separation: When a school bus stops for passengers, all traffic from both directions must stop.

North Carolina School Bus Laws 4

Divided highway of four lanes or more with a median separation: When a school bus stops for passengers, only traffic following the bus must stop.

North Carolina School Bus Laws 3

Roadway of four lanes or more with a center turning lane: When a school bus stops for passengers, only traffic following the bus must stop.

North Carolina School Bus Laws 2

Learn more in the North Carolina driving handbook.

North Dakota School Bus Laws

When a school bus is stopped and flashng its red lights, drivers approaching from both directions must stop. This is because children are being loaded or unloaded. The drivers cannot proceed until 1) the bus begins moving; or 2) the bus driver signals to let vehicles pass; or 3) the red lights are no longer flashing. When a school bus is equipped with yellow caution lights, these lights may be used as a warning that the school bus is about to stop and that the red fl lights will soon come on. Be especially alert every time you see a school bus.

Learn more in the North Dakota driver’s license manual.

Ohio School Bus Laws

When a school bus is stopped on a roadway to pick up or drop off passengers, the following regulations apply to other drivers on the roadway.

1. When a school bus driver is preparing to stop the bus, he or she activates four amber lights – two on the front and two on the rear of the bus. These lights continue to flash until the bus is fully stopped. Other vehicles are not required to stop during this preliminary stage of the eight-light warning but should prepare to stop as soon as the bus comes to a full stop. When the bus comes to a complete stop, the amber lights stop flashing and four red lights – two in the front and two in the back – start flashing while the children enter or leave the bus. In addition, a stop arm with flashing red lights is automatically extended beneath the window on the left side of the bus.

2. If the bus is stopped on a street or road which has fewer than four lanes, all traffic approaching the bus from either direction must stop at least 10 feet from the front or rear of the bus and remain stopped until the bus begins to move or the bus driver signals motorists to proceed.

3. If the bus is stopped on a street or road which has four or more lanes, only traffic proceeding in the same direction as the bus must stop.

School bus drivers believing a motorist has unlawfully passed the stopped bus will, if possible, report the license plate number to the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over the area where the alleged violation occurred. The law enforcement agency will attempt to determine the identity of the driver, and if the identity is established, the reporting of the license plate number by the school bus driver establishes probable cause upon which to issue a citation. Failure to establish the identity of the driver will result in the enforcement agency sending a warning letter to the registered owner stating that a motor vehicle registered to the owner was reported as having unlawfully passed a stopped school bus.

Learn more in the Ohio BMV driver handbook.

Oklahoma School Bus Laws

Drive carefully and be ready to slow down and stop when you are near a school bus. If you approach a bus with flashing red lights and/or showing a red “STOP” sign, it means that children are getting on or off the bus and you must stop.

Fines are doubled for failing to stop for a school bus with red loading/ unloading lights flashing.

Oklahoma School Bus Laws

You must stop and remain stopped until:

  • the bus has started moving, OR
  • the driver motions for you to proceed, OR
  • the red flashing lights go off and/or the sign is pulled back.

You DON’T have to stop for a school bus when:

  • the bus is on a different roadway, OR
  • the bus is stopped in a loading zone by a controlled-access highway where pedestrians are not allowed to cross.

Learn more in the Oklahoma driver’s manual.

Oregon School Bus Laws

Oregon School Bus Laws

School buses have flashing amber and red lights near the top of thebus on the front and rear. They may be equipped with a stop arm that extends from the bus near the driver’s window when the red lights begin to flash.

Flashing amber lights warn traffic that the bus is about to stop on the road to load or unload children. Prepare to stop. When the red lights flash, stop before reaching the bus and remain stopped until the driver turns off the flashing red lights.

If you are on a divided highway with two roads separated by an unpaved median strip or barrier, you must stop only if you are on the same side of the road as the bus.

A painted median strip or turn lane does not create two separate roads. In this case, all lanes of traffic must stop.

Learn more in the Oregon driver manual.

Pennsylvania School Bus Laws

Pennsylvania has special rules you must follow when you drive near a school bus. These rules protect children and drivers.

When a school bus is preparing to stop, its amber (yellow) lights will begin flashing. When the bus stops with its red lights flashing and its stop arm extended, you must stop at least 10 feet away from the bus whether you are behind it or coming toward it on the same roadway or approaching an intersection at which the school bus is stopped. Remain stopped until the red lights stop flashing, the stop arm has been withdrawn, and the children have reached a safe place (see picture below).

Pennsylvania School Bus Laws

ALL VEHICLES MUST STOP! Failure to stop for a school bus with a flashing red light and extended stop arm will result in a 60-day suspension of your driver’s license, five (5) points on your driving record and a fine.

There is only one exception to the school bus stopping requirement. If you are approaching a school bus that is stopped with its red lights flashing and stop arm extended and you are driving on the opposite side of a divided highway, (i.e. concrete/metal barriers, guide rails or trees/rocks/streams/grass median), you do not have to stop. Reduce your speed and continue driving with caution.

Learn more in the Pennsylvania driver manual.

Rhode Island School Bus Laws

If red lights are flashing on the school bus, the law requires that motorists approaching from either direction come to a full stop and remain stopped until the bus’s red lights no longer flash. This requirement applies not only on public highways but also on private roads and in parking lots. A fine of up to $300 and/or suspension of your driver’s license for a period up to thirty (30) days will be imposed for the first violation of this law. Penalties increase for subsequent violations. Motorists do not have to stop for the flashing red lights of the school bus when the bus is opposite your vehicle on a divided highway. A divided highway is any roadway with a Jersey barrier, grass, guardrail, trees, water, etc. between the lanes of travel in opposite directions. There is no need to stop your vehicle if a school bus is in a loading zone.

Rhode Island School Bus Laws

Learn more in the Rhode Island driving manual.

South Carolina School Bus Laws

You must stop for a stopped school bus with flashing lights that is loading or unloading passengers. This is required by law whether you are meeting the bus or traveling behind it under the following conditions:

  • On any two-lane highway.
  • On any four-lane or multi-lane highway only when traveling behind a school bus.
  • When passing a school bus that has red or amber signals flashing.

Sourth Carolina School Bus Laws

Drivers are required to stop for a stopped school bus when driving on a two-lane road. You must stop for a stopped school bus with flashing lights that is loading or unloading passengers.

You Do Not Have to Stop:

  • When the bus is in a passenger loading zone completely off the main travel lanes and when pedestrians are not allowed to cross the roadway.
  • A driver of a vehicle need not stop upon meeting a stopped school bus when traveling in the opposite direction on a multi-lane highway or multi-lane private road. A multi-lane highway or multi-lane private road is defined as a highway or private road that consists of four lanes, having at least two traffic lanes in each direction.

You must always stop on any highway when you are behind the bus. When you have stopped, you must not proceed until the bus moves or the driver signals to you that the way is clear, or the red lights are no longer flashing.

South Carolina School Bus Laws Divided Highway

When on a four-lane or multi-lane highway, traffic behind a stopped bus is required to stop. Traffic on the other side of the highway does not have to stop but should slow down and pass with caution.

Learn more in the South Carolina driver guide here.

South Dakota School Bus Laws

The operator of a motor vehicle on a two-lane highway or a private road meeting or overtaking a school bus on which the amber warning lights are flashing shall reduce the speed of his/her vehicle to not more than twenty miles per hour and proceed past the school bus with caution. When the operator of a motor vehicle approaches a school bus on which the red signal lights are flashing, the operator shall bring the vehicle to a complete stop not closer than fifteen feet from the school bus and shall remain stopped until the flashing red signal lights are extinguished. The operator of a motor vehicle on a highway providing two or more lanes in each direction need not stop when he meets a school bus which is traveling in the opposite direction even though the school bus is stopped and its red signal lights are flashing. The operator of a motor vehicle on a highway providing two or more lanes in each direction shall stop when he approaches a school bus traveling in the same direction when the school bus is stopped and its red signal lights are flashing.

Learn more in the South Dakota driving handbook.

Tennessee School Bus Laws

Meeting A School Bus:

Any driver meeting a school bus or church bus on which the red stop warning signal lights are flashing should reduce his speed and bring the vehicle to a complete stop while the bus stop signal arm is extended. The vehicle must remain stopped until the stop arm is pulled back and the bus resumes motion.

Overtaking A School Bus:

Any driver approaching a school bus or church bus from the rear shall not pass the bus when red stop warning signal lights are flashing. The vehicle must come to a complete stop when the bus is stopped. The vehicle must remain stopped until the stop arm is pulled back and the bus resumes motion.

School Bus Warning Lights:

It is illegal to pass a school bus that has stopped to load or unload students. Never pass on the right side of the bus, as this is where the children enter or exit. This is illegal and can have tragic results. You must stop and remain stopped until:

  • The bus has started moving, OR
  • The driver motions for you to proceed, OR
  • The visual signals are no longer activated such as the red flashing lights go off and/or the stop arm is pulled back.

Yellow Flashing Lights:

When the yellow lights on the front and back of the bus are flashing the bus is preparing to stop to load or unload children. Motorists should slow down and prepare to stop their vehicles.

Red Flashing Lights

When the red lights are flashing and the stop arm is extended this indicates that the bus HAS stopped and that children are now getting on or off the bus. Motorists must stop their cars and wait until the red flashing lights are turned off, the stop arm is withdrawn, and the bus begins moving before they start driving again.

When a school bus is stopped at an intersection to load and unload children, drivers from ALL directions are required to stop until the bus resumes motion (as shown by the red vehicles in the diagram at right). It is a Class A misdemeanor and the driver can be fined between $250 and $1,000 for not stopping for a stopped school bus. When driving on a highway with separate roadways for traffic in opposite directions, divided by median space or a barrier not suitable for vehicular traffic, the driver need not stop, but should proceed with caution. A turn lane in the middle of a four-lane highway is NOT considered a barrier, but a fifth lane that is suitable for vehicular traffic. Drivers meeting a stopped school bus on this type of road would be required to stop in both directions.

Learn more in the Tennessee drivers license manual.

Texas School Bus Laws

School Bus Laws In Texas

You must yield the right-of-way to school buses. Always drive with care when you are near a school bus. If you approach a school bus from either direction and the bus is displaying alternately flashing red lights, you must stop. Do not pass the school bus until:

  • The school bus has resumed motion;
  • You are signaled by the driver to proceed; or
  • The red lights are no longer flashing.

It is not necessary to stop when passing a school bus on a different road or when on a controlled-access highway where the bus is stopped in a loading zone and pedestrians aren’t permitted to cross. A person who fails to obey the law regarding yielding the rightof-way to school buses displaying alternating, flashing lights is subject to the penalties listed in Table 17.

Texas School Bus Laws

Learn more in the Texas driver handbook.

Utah School Bus Laws

If a school bus is displaying alternating flashing red light signals, visible from the front or rear you need to stop immediately before reaching the bus. Do not proceed until the flashing red lights stop.

If you are traveling on a divided highway having four or more lanes with a median separating the traffic, it is only necessary for the vehicles traveling in both lanes behind the school bus to stop, and not the traffic traveling in the opposite direction. If you are traveling on a two-lane roadway, traffic in both directions are required to stop. If you are traveling on a four-lane roadway without a median, traffic in both directions are required to stop. If you are traveling on a highway having five or more lanes and having a shared center turn lane, it is only required for the vehicle in both lanes behind the school bus to come to a complete stop. Vehicles traveling in the opposite direction are not legally required to stop.

Learn more in the Utah driver handbook.

Vermont School Bus Laws

It is against the law to pass a school bus which has stopped and has its red warning lights on. Never pass from any direction when the red lights are on.

When a school bus is on the highway and is about to pick up or discharge students, the school bus driver activates the alternately flashing yellow lights and begins slowing down. You should be preparing to stop. After the bus has stopped, the driver will activate the alternately flashing red warning lights. Once the red warning lights have been activated you must stop your vehicle.

Remember, even in a schoolyard, you must not pass a stopped school bus with its alternately flashing red warning lights activated. There are a few exceptions where a stop is not necessary. You do not have to stop on a divided highway if the school bus is traveling in the opposite direction. A concrete barrier may be used to separate traffic from the bus, and you are not required to stop. In Vermont, if you are found guilty of passing a stopped school bus with its warning lights on, you will be subject to a substantial fine and five points on your driver license.

Learn more in the Vermont drivers license manual.

Virginia School Bus Laws

In the following pictures, the red vehicles must stop and remain stopped until all children are clear of the roadway and the bus moves again.

Virginia School Bus Laws

You must stop for stopped school buses with flashing red lights and an extended stop sign when you approach from any direction on a highway, private road or school driveway. Stop and remain stopped until all persons are clear and the bus moves again.

You must also stop if the bus is loading or unloading passengers and the signals are not on.  You do not have to stop if you are traveling in the opposite direction on a roadway with a median or barrier dividing the road and the bus is on the opposite side of the median or barrier. However, be prepared for unexpected actions by persons exiting the school bus.

Learn more in the Virginia driver’s manual.

Washington 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 for a school bus with red lights flashing when the stopped school bus is traveling in the opposite direction and the roadway:

– has three or more marked traffic lanes, – is separated by a median, or – is separated by a physical barrier.

You should never pass a stopped school bus on the right-hand side.

After the school bus red lights have stopped flashing, watch for children along the side of the road and do not proceed until they have completely left the roadway. The risk of injuring a child crossing the road is increased during the loading and unloading of a school bus. Be alert for children that may try to return to the bus after unloading.

Fines are doubled for anyone that passes a stopped school bus. The penalty for failing to stop for a stopped school bus may not be waived, reduced, or suspended.

You must yield to any transit vehicle (bus) that has signaled and is pulling back onto the roadway.

Learn more in the Washington state driver guide.

West Virginia School Bus Laws

School buses are responsible for safely transporting children to and from school. When approaching a bus, please observe the following rules:

  • On all highways, streets, parking lots, private roads or driveways, traffic in both directions must stop before reaching a school bus that has its red lights flashing which is receiving or discharging students. You may not proceed until the bus resumes motion, or signaled by the school bus driver to proceed or the visual signals are no longer actuated.

Only on Interstate Highways does traffic coming toward a school bus stopped on the other side of the median not have to stop.

  • You must also stop for a stopped school bus which is receiving or discharging students on school property or private property. The penalty for passing a stopped school bus is a minimum of 30 days driver’s license suspension and a minimum fine of $150 for the first offense. Subsequent offenses have increased penalties. If the identity of the driver of a vehicle that passes a stopped school bus cannot be ascertained, the owner or lessee of the vehicle in violation is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, subject to fines.

Learn more in the West Virginia driver’s license handbook.

Wisconsin School Bus Laws

Wisconsin School Bus Laws

You must stop a minimum of 20 feet from a stopped school bus with its red lights flashing. You must stop whether the school bus is on your side of the road, the opposite side of the road or at an intersection that you are approaching. After the school bus red lights have stopped flashing, watch for children along the side of the road. Do not go until they have completely left the roadway.

Divided highways (roadways): Unless signs say otherwise, you are not required to stop for a school bus if you are driving in the opposite direction on a divided highway.

School Bus Laws In Wisconsin

Learn more in the Wisconsin motorist handbook.

Wyoming School Bus Laws

When meeting or overtaking, from either direction, a stopped school bus with flashing red lights. The driver shall not proceed until the school bus resumes motion or the flashing red lights are no longer activated.

Exception: You may pass a school bus with activated flashing red lights, only if there is a physical barrier or separate roadways between your vehicle and the school bus. You MUST use extreme caution, however, watching for pedestrians.

Wyoming School Bus Laws

Learn more in the Wyoming rules of the road guide.

Page last updated on July 21, 2019

9 Comments Leave a comment

I passed by a stop school bus, but it hasn’t pull out the stop sign and the red light until I passed by it. On the bus has camera and took picture of my plate. I got violation for that. Do you think I should fight for it in the court ? Because the bus hasn’t pull the stop sign after I passed by it. Please give me your opinion.

Hi Lily – Yes, if the bus did not have the stop sign out or the red lights flashing when you passed the bus, I would strongly consider fighting the ticket.

Thank you for answer my question so quickly. However, I’m still concern, because on the violation they sent me there are pictures of the stop sign with the red light is slowly pull out when I passed by (about 2.5 second according from the violation paper). This is my 1st school bus violation so I’m very anxious. How many percent do you think I can ask for reduce or dismiss?

Hi Lily – It’s pretty tough to say, but if you have a clean driving record I am confident you can work out a deal with the court to avoid having your driving record tarnished. Usually you can take a traffic school to accomplish this, but it will ultimately be up to the local court and judge.

Thank you!!!!

Image #2 of MultiLane traffic being required to stop is inaccurate (at least for Ohio it’s wrong). Page 42 of the Traffic Digest ( http://publicsafety.ohio.gov/links/hsy7607.pdf ) points out that on a 4 lane road only traffic going the same direction as the bus must stop. This is because school buses are required to pick up on the residence side of traffic when there are 4 lanes.

Hey thanks for this excellent info! One of the many issues facing school bus laws (and many other driving laws) is that each state has their own rules. The rules posted on this page is accurate for MOST states, but obviously not all as you have pointed out.

This article definitely needs to be updated to help separate out the rules by different states. Thanks for bringing this up and helping me to improve the site! I should have this updated in the next week or two.

I was on a back road in Rumson NJ and came to an intersection. The school bus was going north and I was going east on the other street. We both stopped as the children were exiting the bus to my right and crossing the street on my right and not crossing in front of me. I was going to make a left turn away from the bus and one mother watching the kids crossing the street told me “If you don’t stop I’m calling the cops”. I was stopped at the time she when she yelled that out to me. My question, is it legal to for me to stop and then make the left turn while the kids are crossing on the right side of the intersection ?

Can someone reply please ???

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School Bus Laws By State

school bus maximum travel time

Like other large vehicles, school buses have bigger blinds spots than cars, take longer to stop, and need more room to maneuver. When drivers pass a school bus illegally or drive recklessly in school zones, the risk of injury or worse is incredibly high.

Little kids are the most at-risk of a school bus fatality, and most school bus-related fatalities and injuries happen while children are crossing the street. Children age 4 to 8 are most susceptible to a school bus fatality. This is probably because little kids are small and harder for motorists to see. It's also hard for the kids to see over or around objects like parked cars or bushes.

It's every driver's responsibility to make sure children are safe in school zones, on school buses, and when getting on or off school buses. This is why school bus laws have serious consequences.

What are the school bus laws in every state?

Like all traffic laws, school bus laws vary depending on which state you're in. School buses are typically equipped with two sets of lights: amber lights to warn drivers that the bus is slowing down to load or unload children, and red flashing lights to let drivers know they need to stop. When a bus turns on its flashing red lights and extends its stop arm, drivers are required to stop. School buses are typically required to stop at railroad crossings even when there is no train approaching. Do not pass a school bus that is stopped at a railroad crossing.

We've collected and summarized information about the school bus laws in each state. This information comes from each state's respective driver license manual.

Note: an "undivided highway" is usually considered to be a road with one or more lanes traveling in opposite directions that are not separated by a barrier, such as the one pictured below:

school bus maximum travel time

Divided highways, on the other hand, have a barrier such as a median, wall, or fence, dividing the two directions of traffic, as pictured below. Roadways separated by painted lines aren't considered divided highways because there's no physical barrier between the lanes.

school bus maximum travel time

While the laws for sharing the road with school buses are pretty consistent throughout the country, make sure you're familiar with what your state specifically outlines in its laws.

School Bus Laws in Alabama

Passing a stopped school bus in Alabama will result in 6 points against each driver, even if the offense occurred in a different state. School buses, church buses, and any other passenger bus must stop before crossing any railroad crossing, even if a train is not approaching. Do not pass a bus that is stopped at a railroad crossing.

You must come to a complete stop when you're following or meeting a school or church bus that's stopped on the road and has its stop arm extended and is displaying its flashing red lights. Come to a complete stop when meeting or following a school or church bus stopped on a four lane to six lane undivided highway. You'll remain stopped until the bus retracts its stop signal arm and the red lights turn off.

You don't need to stop on a divided highway with four or more lanes that provides at least two travel lanes in opposite directions when a school or church bus is stopped on the opposite side of the roadway. Stopping isn't required when the school or church bus is stopped in a loading zone that is part of or adjacent to this type of highway, and where pedestrians aren't permitted to cross the roadway. Still, you should be cautious when you see a stopped school or church bus, as little kids can be unpredictable.

School Bus Laws in Alaska

Failure to stop for a school bus that is loading or unloading passengers will result in 6 points on your Alaska driving record, even if the offense was committed in another state.

Drivers meeting and following a school bus must come to a complete stop when it has its flashing red lights on and its stop arm extended. When meeting or following a school bus with flashing yellow or amber lights, slow down and be prepared to stop when the bus stops, the red lights start to flash, and the stop arm extends.

You may not pass a stopped school bus when its flashing red lights are on and its stop arm is extended. You must remain stopped until the stop arm is retracted, the red lights are off, and the bus has resumed motion, unless the driver has clearly signaled you to proceed. Stay cautious and keep your eyes out for children who may run into the roadway.

You do not need to stop when meeting a school bus traveling in the opposite direction on a divided highway with two or more lanes in each direction.

School Bus Laws in Arizona

Come to a complete stop on an undivided roadway when a school bus has its red lights flashing and its stop signal arm extended. Remain stopped until the school bus resumes motion, or its stop signal arm is retracted and the lights are no longer flashing. Do not pass a stopped school bus when its lights are flashing and its stop signal arm is extended.

On a divided highway, you don't have to stop if a school bus is in approaching lanes but not stopped in your direction of traffic, though you must still use extreme caution.

School Bus Laws in Arkansas

Drivers don't need to stop when a school bus is approaching in the opposite lane of travel when the roadway is separated by a median that has a width of 20 feet or more. If the median is less than 20 feet wide, drivers in all lanes must stop.

You'll need to make a complete stop when approaching a school bus with its red lights flashing until the red lights are turned off, regardless of the direction the school bus is traveling. Do not pass a school bus until it resumes motion and turns off its flashing red lights.

In Arkansas, passing a stopped school bus when it has its red lights flashing can result in a Class A misdemeanor, a fine of up to $1,000, and/or up to 90 days in jail. Disobeying this law and causing the death of a person is a felony.

School Bus Laws in California

Always stop when a school bus is flashing its red lights when approaching from either direction until the passengers are finished crossing the street and the red lights are no longer flashing. When a school bus is flashing its yellow or amber lights, it's letting you know to prepare to stop. If you don't stop when the red lights are flashing, you can be fined up to $1,000, and lose your driving privileges for one year.

You do not need to stop for a school bus on the opposite side of a divided highway.

School Bus Laws in Colorado

In Colorado, you have to stop at least 20 feet away from a school bus that is stopped and has its red lights flashing, regardless of which side of the road you're on, or when approaching an intersection. Remain stopped until the children have safely crossed the street, and the red lights are no longer flashing.

School Bus Laws in Connecticut

When a school bus is flashing its red lights, you are required to stop, regardless of which side of the road you're on, as well as at intersections you're approaching. You don't have to stop for school buses that are traveling on the opposite side of a median or other physical barrier separating the roadway.

Stay stopped until the red lights have stopped flashing and children have completely crossed the roadway. Proceed with caution.

School Bus Laws in Delaware

The Division of Motor Vehicles may suspend the license of Delaware drivers who illegally pass a stopped school bus. Illegally passing a school bus will result in a 6-point penalty on your driving record.

You are required to come to a complete stop before you reach a school bus from either direction when it's stopped to load or unload children. School buses will turn on their flashing yellow lights about 10 seconds before stopping. When the yellow lights are flashing, reduce your speed and be prepared to stop. Be extremely cautious, as children may run into the street while trying to catch the bus.

When the bus has its flashing red lights on and its stop arm extended, you must come to a complete stop. Do not proceed until the red lights are off and the stop arm is retracted.

You don't have to stop if the school bus is on the opposite side of a highway with four or more lanes, but you should reduce your speed and use extra caution.

School Bus Laws in Florida

You may not pass a school bus that is stopped and has its warning flashers on and its stop sign extended. On two-way streets, all drivers moving in either direction are required to stop for a stopped school bus that is picking up or dropping off kids. Stay stopped until children have safely crossed the street and the school bus retracts its stop sign.

You don't need to stop for a school bus when traveling on the opposite side of a highway divided by a raised barrier or unpaved median that is at least 5 feet in width.

Passing a stopped school bus will result in a 4-point penalty on your driving record. Failing to stop for a school bus can result in a license suspension. You'll likely need to complete a basic driver improvement course , pay hefty fines, and even serve community service hours.

School Bus Laws in Georgia

When a school bus is flashing its yellow lights, slow down and prepare to stop. Keep an eye out for children. When the flashing lights turn red and the bus extends its stop sign, come to a complete stop, regardless of which side of the street you're on. It's illegal to pass a stopped school bus while it's picking up or dropping off passengers.

You don't need to stop on a divided highway when you're traveling on the opposite side of the median as a stopped school bus, but you must be cautious just in case children unexpectedly cross the roadway.

Illegally passing a school bus will result in 4 or more points for drivers under age 21, and 6 points for adult drivers.

School Bus Laws in Hawaii

All drivers must come to a complete stop before reaching a stopped school bus with flashing red lights on the same highway in the same lane as the school bus, as well as all lanes adjacent to the school bus. Drivers must remain stopped until the bus resumes motion or the flashing red lights turn off. Illegally passing a school bus can result in a $1,000 fine.

You don't need to stop when you're traveling in the opposite direction on a divided highway.

School Bus Laws in Idaho

Always stop as you approach a school bus from either direction that has its flashing red lights on and is loading or unloading children. Stay stopped until the children have safely crossed the street and the bus turns off its flashing red lights.

You don't need to stop for a stopped school bus when you're going the opposite direction on a highway with four or more lanes, with two lanes going in opposite directions.

School Bus Laws in Illinois

Come to a complete stop before meeting or passing a school bus while it is stopped to load or unload children. This applies on any two-lane highway, any roadway, highway, or private road, and any parking lot on school property. The only time you don't need to stop is when you're traveling in the opposite direction of the stopped school bus on a four-lane highway.

The school bus will turn on its warning lights at least 100 feet before stopping, and at least 200 feet before stopping in rural areas. This lets you know that you must slow down and be prepared to stop. The bus will then come to a complete stop and extend its stop signal arm.

Drivers approaching and following the school bus must remain fully stopped until the school bus retracts its stop signal arm, turns off its flashing lights, or the bus driver clearly and deliberately signals drivers to pass. Do not pass until children are clear of the roadway, and proceed with caution.

Illegally passing a school bus will result in the suspension of your license. If someone else was driving the vehicle you own at the time of the offense, you will need to provide the driver's name to the State's Attorney office or your vehicle's registration will be suspended for three months.

School Bus Laws in Indiana

School buses will flash their yellow or amber lights when preparing to stop. Slow down and be prepared to stop. Come to a complete stop when you approach a school bus that has its red lights flashing and its stop arm extended, unless you're traveling in the opposite direction on a divided highway.

Failing to obey a school bus's stop arm in Indiana may result in a Class A misdemeanor. If the offense results in bodily injury, it's a Level 6 felony, and a Level 5 felony if it results in death.

School Bus Laws in Iowa

Slow down to no more than 20 mph and prepare to stop when approaching a school bus displaying flashing yellow or amber lights. Come to a complete stop at least 15 feet from a bus with its stop arm extended and its red lights flashing. Remain stopped until the roadway is clear of children and the school bus retracts its stop arm and turns off its red flashing lights.

Never pass a school bus that is stopped at a railroad crossing, or has its yellow or red lights flashing, or its stop arm extended. Use extreme caution when school buses are around, as children may dart into the roadway unexpectedly.

You don't need to stop for a school bus when you're traveling in the opposite direction on a roadway that has at least two lanes in each direction.

Illegally passing a school bus can result in the suspension of your license.

School Bus Laws in Kansas

Come to a complete stop when meeting or passing a school bus, church bus, or day care bus that's stopped to load or unload children. Remain stopped until children are clear from the roadway, the bus's red lights turn off, and the stop signal is retracted. You will need to stop when:

  • There are two solid yellow lines between lanes of traffic, even when the school bus is on the opposite side of the road.
  • You're on a multi-lane highway that is not divided by a physical barrier or median, even when the bus is stopped on the opposite side of the roadway.
  • You're at an intersection, even when the school bus is on the opposite side of the road.

Vehicles traveling on the opposite side of a divided highway do not need to stop for school buses on the opposing roadway.

School Bus Laws in Kentucky

Come to a complete stop before reaching a school or church bus that is stopped to load or unload passengers, even when you're on the opposite side of the road. Remained stopped until the roadway is clear and the bus resumes motion. You do not have to stop for a bus traveling in the opposite direction on a highway with four or more lanes.

School Bus Laws in Louisiana

Failing to stop for a school bus that is loading or unloading children can result in the loss of your driving privilege.

School buses will activate their flashing yellow warning lights at least 100 feet, but no more than 500 feet, before stopping. Slow down and prepare to stop when you are approaching or following a school bus with flashing yellow lights. As the bus is stopping, it will activate its flashing red lights and extend its stop sign. You must come to a complete stop at least 30 feet away from a stopped school bus that is picking up or dropping off passengers. Remain stopped until the roadway is clear and the bus retracts its stop sign and resumes motion.

You don't need to stop when a school bus is stopped in a loading zone that is completely off the roadway, and where pedestrians aren't permitted to cross the roadway. You're not required to stop for a school bus that is on the opposite side of a roadway that is separated by a median, physical barrier, or ditch. You're still required to stop on any roadway with four or more lanes that isn't separated by a divider.

School Bus Laws in Maine

Illegally passing a stopped school bus with its red lights flashing may result in a 30-day license suspension.

You may not pass a stopped school bus with its red lights flashing on any undivided highway, parking area, and school property in Maine. Come to a complete stop when approaching a stopped school bus from either direction when its red lights are flashing, and remain stopped until children are clear from the roadway and the bus resumes motion, or until the school bus driver clearly and deliberately signals for you to proceed.

School Bus Laws in Maryland

The only time drivers are not required to stop for school buses is when traveling in the opposite direction on a physically divided highway.

When meeting or following a stopped school vehicle with flashing red lights, you must stop at least 20 feet from the rear or the front of the school bus, depending on which side of the roadway you're on. Remain stopped until the bus resumes motion or the red lights are off.

School Bus Laws in Massachusetts

Come to a complete stop when a school pupil transport vehicle turns on its flashing lights and extends its stop sign arm, regardless of which side of the road you’re on. Stay stopped until the road is clear of pedestrians and the lights stop flashing, or the stop sign arm retracts. Proceed with caution.

You do not need to stop for a school bus that is stopped on the opposite side of a highway with a barrier between travel directions.

Violating these laws can result in a $250 fine and a license suspension.

School Bus Laws in Michigan

Failure to stop for a school bus will result in 3 points added to your driving record. Fines for failing to stop for a school bus are double what they would be for another moving violation.

Come to a complete stop when approaching or meeting a school bus that has its red lights flashing. You don't need to stop when the school bus is stopped on the opposite side of a divided highway.

School Bus Laws in Minnesota

When driving in the right-hand lane, always yield the right-of-way to a school bus when it's attempting to enter your lane from a shoulder, right-turn lane, or any other location where it stopped to load or unload passengers.

School buses will activate their flashing yellow lights at least 100 feet before stopping when the speed limit is 35 mph or less, and at least 300 feet when the speed limit is over 35 mph. It's illegal to pass a school bus on the right while it is flashing its red or yellow lights.

When a school bus extends its stop arm and turns on its flashing red lights, come to complete stop at least 20 feet from the bus. Both oncoming traffic and traffic following the school bus must remain stopped until the stop arm retracts, the flashing red lights are off, and the roadway is free of pedestrians.

You do not need to stop when the school bus is on the opposite side of a separated roadway.

Failing to stop for a school bus can result in a $500 fine and a loss of driving privileges. Law enforcement may arrest a driver within four hours of the violation if they have probable cause to believe the driver committed the violation.

School Bus Laws in Mississippi

Mississippi's Nathan's Law requires drivers to stop at least 10 feet from a school bus that is loading or unloading children. Drivers must remain stopped until children are clear from the roadway and the bus's flashing red lights are off and the stop sign arm is retracted.

Violators of this law face steep fines. Running a stop-arm comes with a fine up to $750 for first time offenders, up to $1,500 for second or subsequent offenses, and a 90-day license suspension.

Drivers convicted of illegally passing a school bus that results in death or injury will be charged with felony assault and up to 20 years in prison.

School Bus Laws in Missouri

A school bus will activate its amber warning lights 500 feet before a stop. You must come to a complete stop when meeting or following a school bus with its red lights flashing and stop signal arm extended when traveling on a two-lane road with traffic in either direction, and on a two-lane road that is a one-way street. Remain stopped until the school bus resumes motion, or until the bus driver clearly signals for you to proceed.

You do not need to stop for a school bus when:

  • You're traveling in the opposite direction of a school bus on a divided highway.
  • You're traveling on the opposite side of a highway with four or more lanes of traffic.
  • The school bus is stopped in a loading zone (e.g., a school) where students are not allowed to cross the roadway.

Even if you're not required to stop, be extra cautious whenever a school bus is around.

School Bus Laws in Montana

Drivers must come to a complete stop at least 30 feet before meeting or passing a stopped school bus from either direction. The school bus will have its red lights flashing, and you may not proceed until the red lights are off. When a school bus is displaying flashing yellow lights or is otherwise preparing to stop, slow down and proceed with extreme caution.

You don't need to stop for a school bus that's on a different road, or is stopped in an adjacent loading zone where pedestrians aren't permitted to cross the road. Still, you should be very cautious.

School Bus Laws in Nebraska

Failing to stop for a school bus will result in 3 points on your driving record.

School buses will activate amber warning lights when they are preparing to stop to unload or load children. When meeting or overtaking a bus, reduce your speed to 25 mph and be prepared to stop. Even when the bus has stopped moving, the amber lights will stay on until the bus's door opens.

When the school bus door opens, the red stop lights will turn on and the stop arm will extend. You must come to a complete stop a reasonable distance from the bus until the stop arm is retracted and the red warning lights turn off.

You don't need to stop when approaching a bus in the opposite direction on a roadway that's divided by a median.

School Bus Laws in Nevada

You are required to come to a complete stop any time you are meeting or following a school bus displaying flashing red lights. You must remain stopped until the red lights turn off. You are not required to stop when traveling the opposite direction on a divided highway.

School bus drivers can report those who violate this law to the DMV, which will result in the vehicle's owner receiving a warning letter.

School Bus Laws in New Hampshire

Come to a complete stop at least 25 feet in any direction from a school bus with its red lights flashing and/or its stop arm extended, except for on roadways separated by a physical barrier. Remain stopped until the bus resumes motion, or until the red lights turn off. Proceed with caution.

School Bus Laws in New Jersey

When a school bus is displaying its flashing red lights, all other motorists must stop. Come to a complete stop at least 25 feet away from the school bus when you're on a two-lane road, an undivided highway, or on privately-maintained roads. On dual-lane highways, slow down to 10 mph if you're traveling on the opposite side of a safety island or raised median.

Remain stopped for a school bus until the signals have turned off and the roadway is clear of all pedestrians. Proceed with caution.

If a school bus is stopped directly in front of a school to load or unload children and the children are not required to cross the street, drivers may pass from either direction at no more than 10 mph.

Illegally passing a school bus will result in 5 points on your driving record.

School Bus Laws in New Mexico

You must stop for a school bus that is displaying its flashing red lights when approaching from any direction. Remain stopped until the red lights have stopped flashing, then, make sure all children have safely left the roadway before you proceed with caution. You don't need to stop when the school bus is traveling towards you on a divided highway.

School Bus Laws in New York

New York law keeps kids safe by making it illegal for drivers to pass a school bus while it's stopped to drop off or pick up passengers, and the red lights on the bus are flashing, even when approaching from the opposite side of a divided highway.

When you encounter a school bus in New York, be sure to stop at least 20 feet away from the bus. Stay focused and keep an eye out for pedestrians and children.

NY takes school bus laws very seriously. The legal and financial consequences for vehicle operators who pass a school bus while the red lights are flashing and it's stopped to pick up or drop off children include:

  • First Conviction: $250-$400 fine and/or up to 30 days in jail.
  • Second Conviction within three years: $600-$750 fine and/or up to 180 days in jail.
  • Third (or more) Conviction within three years: $750-$1,000 fine and/or up to 180 days in jail.
  • Five points will be added to the operator's driving record for each conviction.

In 2019, a law passed that lets New York school districts and municipalities use stop-arm cameras on school buses to help impose penalties on the owners of vehicles that illegally pass school buses while the red lights are flashing and it's stopped to pick up or drop off children. The vehicle owners will face the following consequences:

  • First violation: $250 fine
  • Second violation within 18 months: $275 fine
  • Third (or more) violation within 18 months: $300 fine

If you're convicted of three of these violations in three years in New York, your license will be revoked for at least six months.

You can learn more about the laws in New York by taking our New York Online Pre-Licensing course .

School Bus Laws in North Carolina

Come to a complete stop when approaching a school bus that is displaying its mechanical stop signal or flashing red lights to unload or load passengers. Only drivers following a school bus on a divided highway with four or more lanes with a median separation must stop. On roadways with four or more lanes and a center turn lane, only traffic following the school bus needs to stop.

Do not proceed until the mechanical stop arm is retracted, the flashing red lights are off, and the bus has resumed motion. Be cautious, as children may enter the roadway unexpectedly.

Passing a stopped school bus will result in 5 driver license points added to your driving record.

School Bus Laws in North Dakota

When a school bus stops and flashes its red lights to load or unload children, traffic in both directions must come to a complete stop and remain stopped until the school bus resumes motion, the bus driver clearly signals to let traffic pass, or until the red lights are off.

School Bus Laws in Ohio

If you're approaching a school bus from either direction with its flashing red lights engaged and its stop arm extended, you must stop at least 10 feet away if the street has fewer than four lanes. You must remain stopped and not pass the bus until the red lights stop flashing, the stop arm is withdrawn, and the children who disembarked are safely off the roadway. If you're on a street with four or more lanes, you don't need to stop if you're driving in the opposite direction.

Failure to obey this law is a serious offense. If you fail to yield the right-of-way to a bus in the way described above, you have broken the law and may face a fine of up to $500. You may have to appear in court and your license could be suspended.

School Bus Laws in Oklahoma

Fines are doubled for drivers who fail to stop for a school bus while it is loading or unloading passengers. You must come to a complete stop when approaching a school bus from either direction that has its flashing red lights on and/or extends its red stop sign. Remain stopped until the bus starts moving, the red flashing lights are turned off and/or the stop sign is retracted, or until the driver motions for you to proceed. Keep an eye out for children and make sure the roadway is clear before proceeding.

You don't need to stop for a school bus that is on a different roadway, or when the bus is in a loading zone where pedestrians aren't allowed to cross.

School Bus Laws in Oregon

Drivers must come to a complete stop for school buses that display their stop arm and/or flashing red lights. Prepare to stop when the bus turns on its amber lights. When the red lights begin to flash, come to a complete stop before you reach the bus, and stay there until the red lights turn off.

You don't need to stop for a school bus if you're on the opposite side of a divided highway.

School Bus Laws in Pennsylvania

If you're approaching a school bus from either direction with its flashing red lights engaged and its stop arm extended, you must stop at least 10 feet away from the bus. Remain stopped and do not pass the bus until the red lights stop flashing, the stop arm is withdrawn, and the children who disembarked are safely off the roadway.

You do not need to stop when meeting or passing a school bus on the opposite side of a divided highway where there is a concrete or metal barrier, guide rails, or a median separating you. In this situation, however, you must reduce your speed and continue with caution.

If you fail to yield the right-of-way to a bus in the way described above, you have broken the law and are subject to a penalty of five points on your driving record, a license suspension of 60 days, and a fine.

School Bus Laws in Rhode Island

Come to a complete stop when approaching a school bus with its red flashing lights on. Remain stopped until the red flashing lights are off. This is required on public highways, private roads, and parking lots. You don't need to stop for a school bus when you're traveling on the opposite side of a divided highway.

Breaking this law will result in a fine of up to $300 and even a license suspension for first time offenders.

School Bus Laws in South Carolina

A school bus will flash amber lights as it prepares to stop. Slow down and be ready to stop when the bus turns on its flashing red lights or extends its stop arm. Remain at a complete stop until the lights have stopped flashing and the stop arm retracts. Proceed with caution, keeping a close eye on children who may unexpectedly enter the roadway. Drivers meeting or following a school bus in South Carolina must stop for a stopped school bus:

  • On any two-lane highway.
  • On any four-lane or multi-lane highway when traveling behind a school bus.
  • When attempting to pass a school bus that is flashing its red or amber lights.

You do not have to stop for a school bus when it's in a loading zone located completely off the main roadway, and pedestrians are not permitted to cross the roadway. You don't need to stop if you're traveling in the opposite direction on a multi-lane highway or multi-lane private road that consists of four lanes, with at least two lanes of traffic in each direction. You need to stop for a school bus if you're traveling behind it on a multi-lane highway.

School Bus Laws in South Dakota

When meeting or following a school bus that has its red lights flashing or its stop arm extended, you must come to a complete stop until the red lights turn off and the stop arm is retracted. You don't need to stop for a school bus when traveling in the opposite direction on a divided roadway.

School Bus Laws in Tennessee

When meeting a school or church bus with its red stop warning signal lights flashing and its stop signal arm extended, reduce your speed and come to a complete stop. Do not resume driving until the stop arm is retracted and the bus resumes motion.

If you're following a school bus, you can't pass it when its red stop warning signal lights are flashing. Come to a complete stop behind the school or church bus when it's stopped, and remain stopped until the bus retracts its stop arm and resumes motion.

It's illegal in Tennessee to pass a school bus that's stopped to load or unload passengers. It's especially dangerous to pass a school bus on the right, as that's where kids are exiting or entering the bus. You have to remain stopped until the visual signals are no longer activated, the bus resumes motion, or the bus driver clearly motions for you to pass. Even so, be extremely careful any time children are around, as they're unpredictable and may run into the roadway when you least expect it.

School buses may stop at an intersection to load or unload students. When this happens, vehicles in all directions must stop and remain stopped until the bus resumes motion.

Drivers do not need to stop for a school bus when traveling on a divided highway. Remember, a turn lane isn't considered a divided highway.

If you violate these school bus laws, you can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor and receive a fine up to $1,000.

School Bus Laws in Texas

You are required to yield the right-of-way and stop for school buses when approaching a school bus from any direction when the school bus is displaying flashing red lights. Remain stopped until the bus has resumed motion, you're clearly signaled by the bus driver to pass, or the red lights are no longer flashing.

Drivers aren't required to stop when passing school buses on a different road, or when driving on a controlled-access highway when the bus is stopped in a loading zone where pedestrians aren't permitted to cross the roadway.

Illegally overtaking and passing a school bus will result in an automatic suspension of your license and your driving privilege, as well as a fine between $500-$1,250. If you're convicted of failing to stop for a school bus a second time, your license may be suspended for up to 6 months and may be revoked. You'll also have to pay a fine up to $2,000.

Drivers who illegally pass a school bus and cause serious bodily injury to someone will face a Class A misdemeanor that comes with a fine of up to $4,000 and up to one year in jail. If you're convicted of this violation for a second time, it's a state jail felony with between 180 days to 2 years in jail, as well as a fine of up to $10,000.

School Bus Laws in Utah

Drivers coming from either direction are required to stop for a school bus that is flashing its red light signals visible from the front or rear. Come to a complete stop before reaching the bus and remain stopped until the red lights are no longer flashing.

Drivers in both directions are required to stop for stopped school buses on two-lane highways and four-lane roadways without a median. If you're on a highway with five or more lanes that has a shared center turn lane, only the drivers in both lanes behind the school bus are required to stop.

Drivers on the opposite side of a divided highway don't need to stop for a stopped school bus on the other side of the divider.

School bus drivers have the right to report drivers who illegally pass school buses. You may receive a fine of $100-$500, and your insurance rates will likely increase.

School Bus Laws in Vermont

It's illegal to pass a school bus that is stopped and displaying its red warning lights from any direction. When approaching a school bus from any direction that is flashing its yellow warning lights, you must slow down and prepare to stop. Come to a complete stop when the bus activates its red warning lights. You have to stop for a school bus with flashing red lights even in a school yard. Remain stopped until the red lights are no longer flashing and the school bus has resumed motion.

Drivers aren't required to stop on a divided highway for a school bus that's traveling in the opposite direction.

If you're found guilty of illegally passing a school bus in Vermont, you'll face a substantial fine and 5 points will be added to your license.

School Bus Laws in Virginia

Drivers must come to a complete stop for stopped school buses with flashing red lights and an extended stop arm when approaching from any direction (including at intersections) on a highway, private road, or school driveway. You have to stop any time a school bus is loading or unloading children, even if the signals aren't on. Remain stopped until the roadway is clear of pedestrians and the bus resumes motion.

You don't need to stop for a stopped school bus when traveling in the opposite direction on a divided roadway.

School Bus Laws in Washington

Come to a complete stop for a school bus that's stopped with its red lights flashing when approaching from any direction (including at intersections). Remain stopped until the red lights are no longer flashing. Never pass a stopped school bus on the right.

You're not required to stop for a school bus that is stopped on the opposite side of a roadway that has three or more marked lanes or on divided highways.

Fines are doubled for drivers that illegally pass a stopped school bus.

School Bus Laws in West Virginia

Drivers in both directions need to stop before reaching a school bus that is displaying flashing red lights and loading or unloading students on all highways, streets, parking lots, private roads, driveways, school properties, and private properties.

Traffic traveling toward a school bus on the opposite side of a divided interstate highway is not required to stop.

Illegally passing a school bus is a minimum of 60 days driver's license suspension, a minimum fine of $500, or no more than 6 months in jail for first time offenders. Subsequent convictions come with increased penalties. If the driver of the vehicle can't be identified, the owner or lessee of the vehicle is subject to a misdemeanor and fines.

School Bus Laws in Wisconsin

In Wisconsin, you're required to stop at least 20 feet from a stopped school bus with flashing red lights. On two-lane and multi-lane highways, you need to stop if the bus is on your side of the road, the opposite side of the road, or at an intersection you're approaching. Remain at a complete stop until the lights have stopped flashing and children have completely left the roadway.

School Bus Laws in Wyoming

You can pass a stopped school bus when traveling in the opposite direction on a divided highway. When meeting or overtaking a school bus on all other roadways, you must stop when the school bus is stopped and flashing its red lights. Remain stopped until the bus resumes motion, or the flashing red lights are no longer on.

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School Bus Safety

School bus banner image.

​​Every day across the country, nearly 500,000 buses carry more than 25 million students to and from school and school-related activities.

School buses are the safest vehicles on the road, and one of the safest modes of transportation overall. In fact, children are much safer traveling in school buses than in any other vehicle, whether they're going to and from school, a field trip, or a sporting event. They are even safer riding in a school bus than in a car with their parents or caregivers.

Although school buses are extremely safe, we have investigated school bus crashes in which children were injured and, in some cases, died, and identified areas in which safety improvements are needed.

​​Stats to Know

From 2011 to 2020:

• 1,009 Fatal school transportation related crashes

• 52% - Over half of school-age pedestrians killed in school transportation related crashes were 5- to 10-years-old.

• 1.6 times more fatalities among pedestrians (183) than occupants of school transportation vehicles (113) in school-transportation-related crashes.

(Source: NHSTA data )

​​Selected Topics​

Seat Belt​s on School Buses

School buses use a unique technology called compartmentalization—a passive occupant protection system to protect children in crash. School bus seats are made with an energy-absorbing steel inner structure and high, padded seat backs, and are secured to the school bus floor. Students are protected within the seating compartment much like eggs in a carton. Through our crash investigations, we have found that, compartmentalization alone is not enough to prevent all injuries and that for some of the children involved, a seat belt could have lessened their injuries or even saved their lives.

As a result of our school bus crash investigations, we believe—and have recommended—that, when investing in new school buses, the purchased vehicles should provide children with the best protection available, which includes lap/shoulder seat belts.

Lap/shoulder belts are not the only safety feature that we recommend for improving school bus safety. Unfortunately, our investigations have also shown that children need to be better protected outside the school bus, too. 

school bus maximum travel time

Every state has a law making it illegal to pass a school bus that's stopped to load or unload passengers with its red lights flashing and stop arm extended. Far too many drivers simply choose to ignore the law for their own convenience and put children at risk.

In 2018, we saw the deadly consequences of such a choice when a pickup truck driver failed to stop for a stopped school bus that had its red warning lights and stop arm activated. The pickup truck struck children crossing the road to board the stopped bus. As a result of the investigation, we recommended that states enact legislation to permit stop arm cameras on school buses to capture images and allow citations to be issued for illegal school bus passings based on the camera-obtained information. We also recommended that the use of school bus stops that require students to cross a roadway should be minimized.

Vehicle Collision with Student Pedestrians Crossing a High Speed Roadway to Board School Bus​

Rochester, IN ​ | Oct 30, 2018 |Investigation Page ​​| Summary Document | ​   Presentation Slides May 13, 2020 

To better protect children in and around school buses, we have also recommended that new school buses be equipped with collision avoidance and connected vehicles technologies.  See our recommendations: 

  • ​ collision avoidance systems and automatic emergency braking on newly manufactured school buses as standard equipment, and
  • connected vehicle technology for all highway vehicles, and
  • pedestrian safety systems, including pedestrian collision avoidance systems .​​ ​​
Presentations and Testimony ​National History of School Bus Crashes and Lessons Learned ​​​​​​ Presentation by Kristin Poland, PhD Deputy Director, NTSB Office of Highway Safety before the Ohio School Bus Working Group. September 25, 2023 Examining the Federal Role in Improving School Bus Safety Testimony of Kristin Poland, PhD Deputy Director, NTSB Office of Highway Safety Before the Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee on Highways and Transit United States House of Representatives on Examining the Federal Role in Improving School Bus Safety. July 25, 2019 ​​ NTSB School Bus Investigations: Updates and Safety Recommendations   P​resentation to the Iowa Pupil Transportation Association Annual Conference in Des Moines, IA by Michele Beckjord, Supervisory Investigator-In-Charge​​, Office of Highway Safety. July 15, 2019 Lessons Learned from NTSB Bus Crash Investigations   Presentation to the Alabama School Transportation Conference by Stephanie Shaw, Safety Advocate, Office of Safety Recommendations and Communications. June 6, 2019 Updates Regarding NTSB School Bus Investigations   Presentation on NTSB School Bus Investigations by Michele Beckjord, ​Supervisory Investigator-In-Charge​​, Office of Highway Safety. ​​ Oct. 29, 2018​​ ​Updated January 24, 2023​

school bus maximum travel time

Frequently Asked Questions

School Bus Transportation for the Public Schools of North Carolina

School bus transportation in North Carolina is a function of the Local Education Agency (the LEA). The board of education in each county or city school system is responsible for most of the policies associated with your child’s school bus ride to and from school. Local boards of education develop, implement and enforce most of these policies.

However, there are a number of state laws and policies to which the LEA must adhere. North Carolina General Statutes (laws) regarding school transportation are found in Article 17 of Chapter 115C, sections 239-262. Further, state law directs the North Carolina State Board of Education (SBE) to develop and implement policies related to school transportation. These policies are requirements and have the full effect of law.

Laws and policies may be found at www.ncbussafety.org/NCLaws.html

Following are answers to some of the more frequently asked questions regarding pupil transportation in North Carolina:

Q: How long are students allowed to ride the school bus each way in North Carolina? A: There is no state law regarding the length of a bus ride. North Carolina has a wide range of geography across the state and the diversity of rural and urban areas results in a very wide range of bus ride times. Some rural counties have an average student ride time of over 50 minutes while some small city LEAs have an average ride time as low as 15 minutes. Individual LEAs may have local policies that require a maximum ride time.

Q: The bus driver told me I am not allowed to get on the bus. Is that true? A: G.S. 115C-245(b) states that the driver “shall have complete authority over and responsibility for the operation of the bus and the maintaining of good order and conduct upon such bus.” Further, any person boarding the bus after being told not to by the driver is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor according to G.S. 14-132.2.

Q: Are students allowed to stand on the school bus or to sit in the aisles? A: Absolutely not. State Board of Education policy requires that seating be provided for each student on the bus and that standees are strictly prohibited. Further, each student must be completely seated in the school bus seat - with a padded seat back behind him and a padded seat back in front of him. The same policy requires that the capacity of the bus cannot be exceeded. Violations should be reported to the local director of transportation.

Q: How is the capacity of a school bus determined? A:  Nearly all school buses come equipped with 39 inch seats on either side of a center aisle. The largest buses in North Carolina are the “flat-nose” transit-style school buses that have 26 total seats. The smallest buses have 12 total seats. Most buses have either 22 or 24 seats. The rated capacity is posted on the front bulkhead of each school bus according to student grades. The maximum capacity for grades 9-12 is calculated as the number of seats times two (i.e. two students per seat). The maximum capacity for grades 6-8 is calculated as the number of seats times 2.5, where half of the seats would have two students and half would have three students. The maximum capacity for grades Kindergarten through 5 is calculated as the number of seats times 3 (i.e. three students per seat). These are MAXIMUM capacities and, while the LEA may not exceed the rated capacity of the bus, the LEA must also provide seating – within the seating compartment – for all students assigned to the bus, whether or not the assigned load reaches the maximum capacity.

Q: My child’s bus stop has been moved from the location where it has been for several years. What can I do? A: The LEA is required to establish a bus stop for each student within one mile of the student’s residence. Nearly all bus stops are, in reality, much closer than this. G.S. 115C-246 states that buses must be routed “so that the bus passes within one mile of the residence of each pupil assigned to that bus.” Any bus stop within one mile of the residence is “legal”. The appeal process is to the local board of education, under rules established by that local board of education for such appeals. Most boards of education meet monthly in public meetings and allocate some time for comments from parents and community members.

Q: My school system says that they don’t get enough money from the state to come down my street or to add another bus. Is that true? A: Each LEA receives a block grant of funding through the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, as its portion of the school transportation appropriation from the North Carolina General Assembly. It is up to that LEA to determine how those funds will be spent, within state requirements. The LEA receives a percentage of its actual prior-year expenditures according to a formula that assigns a “budget rating” which is, in part, a measure of efficiency. The fewer buses operated and the lower the expenditures, the higher the efficiency and therefore the budget rating. In short, LEAs have a financial incentive to provide efficient service using the least number of buses necessary. It is up to the local board of education to determine their transportation policies as they must balance service with efficiency.

Q: My child has special needs and can’t get to and from the bus stop. How can her needs be accommodated? A: A student with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) may have Transportation listed as a related service. Further, that IEP may require specialized equipment (e.g. wheelchair lift) or other accommodations so that the student can be safely transported to and from school. In such cases where there is an IEP, the school district has an obligation to make sure that those needs are met. The LEA may decide that those needs can be met via transportation by school bus or may identify an alternative method, such as contracting with a third party to transport the student

Q: The bus won’t come in my private subdivision. What can I do? A:  G.S. 115C-246(b) states that “unless road or other conditions make it inadvisable, public school buses shall be routed on state­maintained highways, municipal streets, or other streets with publicly dedicated right­of­way.” It is up to the local board of education to determine what other conditions might require or preclude the routing of school buses on private roads. The appeal process is to the local board of education.

Q: What determines whether or not my local board of education will allow school buses to travel on a private road? A: There is no requirement to travel private roads, as stated in the previous answer. However, the local board may consider routing a bus on a private road for student safety reasons. In order to ensure that the bus can travel safely, some local boards may require written permission from the owner(s) of the road in order to travel and may also require that the owner(s) keep the road maintained suitable for school bus travel. G.S. 115C-246(b) also states that, with regard to school buses routed on state-maintained highways, municipal streets and other streets with publicly dedicate right-of-way, “the local board of education shall not be responsible for damage to the roadway.”

Q: I have been told that the school bus cannot come down my dead-end road. Why? A: State Board of Education policy states the following with regard to school bus routing: Superintendents shall plan bus routes in a way designed to conserve fuel and to use buses efficiently. A route may not deviate from a general path of direction for a distance of less than one-half mile and then return to the original path except for groups of 10 or more pupils, unescorted pupils in grades K-3 or special education pupils. Unless safety factors require otherwise, superintendents may not plan bus stops closer together than 0.2 miles.

Q: Why don’t school buses have seat belts? A: School buses afford students the safest form of transportation to and from school. This has been validated by federal crash testing and research by the National Academy of Sciences. School buses have to meet rigid federal construction standards for the sides and top of the bus, fuel tanks and inside of each bus. The thick padded seats and seat-backs provide a passive form of crash protection known as “compartmentalization.” This padding, combined with the placement of the seating area high above the impact zone (with most other vehicles), offers a protection that has resulted in an unmatched record of passenger safety. 

Especially for small students, lap belts can be more harmful than helpful. In our passenger cars, lap belts are being phased out. Only recently – in the early 2000’s – have lap-shoulder seat belts been available in school buses. In North Carolina, thirteen buses with these 3-point belts are being evaluated. Further, the North Carolina Child Fatality Task Force has been directed by the General Assembly to study safety restraints on school buses and to report back by May 1, 2008. Adding lap/shoulder belts is very expensive and evidence to date suggests that all but the youngest students are reluctant to wear them.

Q: My child is having a birthday party after school and I would like for her friends to ride the bus home with her. We can do that, right? A: This is a decision that rests with the local board of education. The primary responsibility of that board, with regard to school bus routing, is to see that all students entitled to transportation have a bus assignment for their daily ride to and from school and that all bus assignments are done in a way as to provide seating for all students. If the superintendent (or designee) changes school bus assignments for a day – as you described – adequate seating for all students must be provided.

Q: I am disabled and unable to accompany my child to the bus stop each morning. Can the bus stop at my home? A: State law requires that the school bus be routed within one mile of your home, if the student lives 1.5 miles or more from school. Any other decisions about the placement of your child’s bus stop are up to the local board of education. Usually situations like this are handled on a case-by-case basis. Your appeal would be to the local board of education.

Q: Are charter schools required to provide transportation to and from school? A: No. Charter schools are required to have a plan to ensure that transportation is not a barrier for any student; however, the school does not have to provide transportation for every student.

1995 © School Bus Safety Web. Site design by ITRE, NC State University in conjunction with the Governor's Highway Safety Program. All content and works posted on this website are owned by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. All rights reserved.

school bus maximum travel time

How long is a school bus? Measurements for builds & budgets

.css-26rqae{font-weight:500;} yellow school buses: the icons of education.

Accommodating approximately 90 passengers, the iconic yellow school bus is a familiar sight on our roads. These full-sized buses, typically stretching 35 to 40 feet long, have bench-style seating and are notable for their lack of seatbelts. Fitted with safety elements like flashing red lights, stop signs, and crossing arms, they provide dependable transportation for daily school journeys and extracurricular activities such as field trips or sports events.

Popular floor plans include

Open concept: Removing most of the seats and creating a larger open space for living and dining areas.

Bunk beds: Utilizing the height of the bus to create bunk beds, freeing up floor space for storage or other living areas.

Kitchenettes: Incorporating a small kitchen with counter space, sink, and appliances such as a stove or fridge.

Bathroom: Adding a bathroom with a toilet, shower, and sink for convenience.

Yellow school bus average measurements

Length: 35-45 feet

Width: 8 feet

Interior height: 6.5 feet

Wheelbase: approximately 20 feet

Height: 9.5-10.5 feet

Internal living space: 240-280 square feet

Roof raises and rear door measurements

Roof raises:

Average height increase: 1.5 feet

Maximum height increase: 3 feet

Rear door measurements:

Width: 4 feet

Height: 6.5 feet

Mini buses: Compact and versatile

Mini buses are the agile relatives in the bus family, typically measuring between 20 to 25 feet in length. They can comfortably seat anywhere from 10 to 25 passengers, making them an excellent choice for smaller groups, daycare transportation, or specialized school programs. Despite their compact size, mini buses come packed with features for safety and comfort, including air conditioning, entertainment systems, and sometimes wheelchair access. Particularly popular for those considering a smaller skoolie conversion, mini buses offer a manageable size without sacrificing the potential for creativity and customization.

Mini and shuttle buses 

While smaller in size compared to yellow school buses and coach buses, mini and shuttle buses still offer ample living space for skoolie conversions.

Some popular floor plan options include:

Studio: With a single open living space, this layout is ideal for solo travelers or couples.

Bunkhouse: This layout maximizes sleeping space with multiple bunk beds stacked on top of each other.

Dining booth: Perfect for those who love to cook and entertain, this layout features a dining area that doubles as a seating area during the day.

Estimated measurements of a mini or shuttle bus conversion

Length: 20-25 feet

Width: 7.5 feet

Interior height: 6 feet

Wheelbase: approximately 12 feet

Height: 10 feet

Internal living space: 120-150 square feet (approximate)

Average height increase: 1 foot

Maximum height increase: 2 feet

Width: 3.5 feet

Height: 6 feet

Shuttle buses: Compact and convenient

Smaller in size compared to their yellow counterparts, shuttle buses range around 15 to 25 feet long and can accommodate 15-30 passengers. Their compact size makes them ideal for shorter trips such as airport transfers or hotel shuttles. A mix of bench-style seating and individual seats often feature seatbelts, adding an extra layer of safety for passengers.

Some popular floor plan options include

Coach buses: luxury on wheels.

As the largest type of school bus available, coach buses stand out with lengths reaching up to 45 feet. Designed to accommodate up to 60 passengers, these buses offer a comfortable travel experience with reclining seats and ample legroom. Amenities such as air conditioning, onboard restrooms, and entertainment systems make them a preferred choice for longer trips like school or sports team tours.

Single level: This layout offers a spacious, open-concept living area with a kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom all on the same level.

Split-level: With this design, the bus is divided into two levels, creating separate areas for living and sleeping. The lower level usually houses the kitchen and bathroom while the upper level is reserved for the bedroom.

Loft: For those looking to maximize vertical space, a loft layout features a raised platform that can serve as a bedroom or additional storage space.

Estimated measurements of a coach bus conversion

Length: 45 feet

Width: 8.5 feet

Height: 12 feet

Internal living space: 360 square feet (approximate)

Average height increase: 2 feet

Maximum height increase: 4 feet

Other important bus measurements to help you draft your dream

The average shuttle bus has a power output of 150-200 horsepower. However, this can vary depending on the make and model.

Fuel capacity

On average, a mini or shuttle bus has a fuel capacity of 25-40 gallons. This can also vary based on the specific vehicle.

Seating capacity

Depending on the size and layout of your conversion, you can expect to comfortably seat anywhere from 4-10 people in your converted bus.

Proper insulation is key to creating a comfortable living space in your converted bus. This will help regulate temperature and reduce noise from outside sources. To cover the inside of your bus, you can use a variety of materials such as foam board, fiberglass insulation, or spray foam. You’ll need enough for the floors, walls, and ceiling to ensure optimal insulation. To calculate the amount you need, measure the square footage of your bus and consult with an insulation specialist for recommendations.

Electrical system

Busses can typically support a 120-volt electrical system, which is the standard for most homes. However, it’s important to consult with an electrician to ensure that your bus can handle the load and to properly wire all outlets, switches, and lights. You may also want to consider installing solar panels or a generator for off-grid power options.

These are just estimates

No two busses are the same. Even if you buy two buses from the same manufacturer, you’ll still encounter small differences that may affect the conversion process. These estimates are meant to give you a general idea of what to expect, but it’s important to do your own research and consult with professionals for accurate calculations.

Next time you see a school bus, take a moment to appreciate the thoughtfulness behind its size - an emblem of safety, efficiency, and the enduring value of education. What once carried kids to their places of education, a bus conversion can carry you to adventure and inspiration – even home. 

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Information for School Bus Operators

The applicability of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) varies depending on the type of transportation provided in a school bus. This document is designed to clarify what Federal regulations are applicable to school bus transportation. The FMCSRs only apply to a school bus operation when the school bus is a commercial motor vehicle (CMV).

DEFINITIONS

A school bus is a passenger motor vehicle which is designed or used to carry more than 10 passengers in addition to the driver, and which the Secretary of Transportation determines is likely to be significantly used for the purpose of transporting pre-primary, primary, or secondary school students from home to school or school to home.

School bus operation is the use of a school bus to transport only school children and/or school personnel from home to school and from school to home.

A Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) is:

  • A vehicle designed or used to transport more than 8 passengers (including the driver) for compensation;
  • A vehicle designed or used to transport more than 15 passengers (including the driver), and is not used to transport passengers for compensation; or
  • A vehicle having a gross vehicle weight rating or gross weight of more than 10,000 pounds.

Refer to 49 CFR Section 390.5 for a complete CMV definition.

A for-hire motor carrier is a person engaged in the transportation of passengers for compensation.

WHEN IS SCHOOL BUS TRANSPORTATION EXCEPTED FROM THE FMCSRs?

  • When conducting a school bus operation as defined in the previous section. However, the Drug and Alcohol Testing Regulations in Part 382 and the Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Regulations in Part 383 may apply.
  • When transportation is performed by the Federal Government, a State, or any political subdivision of a State (e.g., a public school district).

WHEN IS SCHOOL BUS TRANSPORTATION SUBJECT TO FMCSRs?

The FMCSRs are applicable when a school bus provides for-hire interstate transportation other than home to school and school to home, and is not operated by a State or local government.

The following chart explains the applicability of the FMCSRs except Parts 382 and 383 in the context of student/school-related transportation in interstate commerce.

*Refer to the PMCP educational pamphlet for more information about these motor carriers.

When a private school, college, or university transports its students and/or personnel in CMVs, it is subject to the FMCSRs as a business PMCP. When a private college or university contracts with a company to transport students and/or personnel in CMVs, that company is subject to the FMCSRs as a for-hire motor carrier.

FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

Part 387 requires for-hire motor carriers operating in interstate commerce to have minimum levels of public liability insurance in the amounts below:

  • Any vehicle with a seating capacity of 16 passengers or more (including driver): $5,000,000
  • Any vehicle with a seating capacity of 15 passengers or fewer (including driver): $1,500,000
  • The financial responsibility requirements do not apply to a motor vehicle transporting only school children and teachers to or from school.
  • The financial responsibility requirements do not apply to a motor vehicle operated by a motor carrier under contract to provide transportation of pre-primary, primary, and secondary students for extracurricular trips organized, sponsored, and paid for by a school district.
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school bus maximum travel time

UAE: Adek outlines new requirements for school transport

Timing for a single trip should not exceed 75 minutes.

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Published: Wed 9 Mar 2022, 3:38 PM

The Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (Adek) has outlined a number of requirements that private school buses must adhere to while transporting students to and from schools.

One of the important stipulations include fixing the time for a single trip to school or pupils’ home should at a maximum of 75 minutes - from the time the first student boards the bus until the last pupil gets off the bus. Another requirement states that school buses must be equipped with a surveillance system having at least four cameras.

In the Private Schools Policies Manual which was sent to schools, Adek stressed that the students should be transported safely and efficiently in accordance with the specific requirements of the government agencies concerned with transportation of school children.

The regulations call for providing pupils with safe and high-quality buses at reasonable transport charges, and selecting external transport operators through an open and competitive process, provided that they have a licence from the Department of Transport.

Under the transportation measures, schools and external transport companies must comply with the requirements of the Department of Transport and the Vehicles and Drivers Licensing Department related to transporting students to and from school.

Other school bus requirements include:

- School transport vehicles are not allowed to be used to transport passengers outside the school community.

- Schools must incorporate students’ school bus safety awareness within the curricula and extra-curricular activities.

- Schools should inform parents about school bus fees, transportation routes and timing for picking up or dropping the child.

- Schools must also hire a supervisor for each bus and inform the transport operators and parents about their names and contact numbers.

- Parents must also be informed about their responsibilities towards school transport.

- All school buses should be comprehensively insured by an insurance company according to relevant laws.

According to Adek, all schools are fully responsible for the care and protection of students whilst they are in the school’s care, or travelling to and from the school using school-provided transportation, and while moving between all activities organised by the school.

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Technology | The first electric school bus fleet in the US…

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Technology | two-alarm fire breaks out at tesla plant in fremont, technology | the first electric school bus fleet in the us will also power oakland homes.

school bus maximum travel time

In an industrial corner of Oakland, wedged between a 10-lane freeway and a freight terminal, sits California’s newest source of renewable energy: a squadron of shiny yellow electric school buses. It’s the first all-electric bus fleet serving a major US school district. Starting in August, the 74 vehicles will also supply 2.1 gigawatt-hours of electricity to the Bay Area power grid, enough energy for 300 to 400 homes.

The buses are expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about 25,000 tons annually in a city where 72% of public school students come from low-income families, who are disproportionately impacted by pollution from Oakland’s busy port, truck traffic and manufacturing facilities. Alameda County, where Oakland is located, has some of the nation’s worst air pollution, according to an American Lung Association report released this month.

The Oakland Unified School District’s previous diesel bus fleet gave children no respite from pollutants linked to lung diseases like asthma. “I would wipe my fingers along the inside of the bus at the end of the day and they would be black from diesel smoke,” says Marjorie Urbina, who has been driving school buses for 23 years. “If it’s in the bus, it’s in my lungs.”

Most of the 480,000 school buses in the US run on diesel fuel, and low-income students account for 60% of the 20 million children they transport daily, according to the World Resources Institute. Heavy-duty trucks, a category that includes school buses, comprise just 6% of vehicles in the US but emit 59% of pollution from road transportation.

“School bus electrification can really play an important role in making our air healthier for everyone, especially children,” Harold Wimmer, chief executive officer of the American Lung Association, said Wednesday during a webinar on electric school buses.

Oakland’s electric buses are provided by Zūm, a Silicon Valley startup that now manages the school district’s fleet, as well as those in Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Seattle and other US cities. Zūm began to add electric buses to its fleet in 2022 and about 10% of the company’s 3,000 buses are now zero-emission. As Zūm converts more of its fleet to battery power, Oakland offers lessons for other districts on how to ditch diesel and help pay for electrification by using buses to provide power to the grid.

“Electric school buses are a unique fleet as they’re essentially large batteries on wheels that drive very few, predictable miles and can support the grid,” says Vivek Garg, Zūm’s co-founder and chief operating officer, standing in the OUSD depot next to a row of buses manufactured in Southern California by Chinese EV giant BYD.

School bus schedules align nicely with renewable energy production and electricity demand, making them ideal for vehicle-to-grid programs.

When the new school year begins in August, Urbina and other Zūm drivers will leave the depot in the morning with 110 miles of range at the ready to pick up students from their homes and take them to school. The drivers will return to the depot at around 10:30 a.m. with batteries at 68% capacity. Solar energy production in California ramps up at that time, so drivers will plug the buses into bidirectional chargers designed by Zūm, taking advantage of lower electricity rates.

Their batteries topped off, the buses head out again around 1:30 p.m. to shuttle students home from school. They’re back in the bus yard by 5:30 p.m. as renewable energy production falls off with the setting sun and electricity demand and rates start to peak. The buses plug back into the chargers — except now they’re sending green electricity to the grid at a time of day when utilities typically rely on fossil fuel power plants. When demand and rates fall after 9 p.m., the buses begin charging so they’re ready to roll the next morning.

“There is an excess of supply during the solar peak and this is a way we can move some of that energy from that time of the day to when we actually need it,” says Rudi Halbright, product manager for vehicle-grid-integration pilots and analysis at California utility Pacific Gas and Electric Company. “With 74 buses, that’s a lot of power so it really has a big impact for us. This pilot specifically is designed to pave the way for us to do this on a large scale.”

Legislation enacted last year requires all newly purchased California school buses to be zero-emission beginning in 2035. Electrifying school bus fleets, though, is a challenge for cash-strapped school districts. Even the smaller, 26-seat electric buses being deployed in Oakland can cost $350,000, triple the price of a same-size diesel vehicle.

To make the math work, Zūm’s electric buses were subsidized by grants from the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean School Bus Program, as well as money from the state and the regional air quality district. Raney and Garg say PG&E was key to the financial viability of the project. The utility paid for transmission upgrades needed to supply 2.7 megawatts of power to the bus chargers and it will also compensate Zūm for the electricity the buses return to the grid.

California’s 2023 school bus law also extends the maximum term of a contract for zero-emission buses between a school district and a private operator to 15 years from five. Garg says the guarantee of such long-term contracts will make it easier to obtain financing for electric buses.

Zūm’s technology also helps cut the cost of electrification. An app increases the efficiency of the fleet by giving drivers a list of students to be picked up each day and plotting the routes. If a student won’t be in school that day, the app reroutes the bus. And given the vehicles’ predictable energy demands, they can be charged at a lower voltage, avoiding installation of expensive fast chargers.

At the OUSD depot, Urbina boards an electric school bus for a short drive around the yard. The bus is air-conditioned so the windows can remain closed, further reducing children’s exposure to air pollution. An even starker contrast to the ear-splitting din of diesel buses: It’s silent.

“I love that it’s quiet,” Urbina says, “because when the bus is loud, kids get louder.”

More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com

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These Electric School Buses Are on Their Way to Save the Grid

A yellow bus parked near electric vehicle chargers on a sunny day

The big yellow school bus is a US icon, but perhaps not one that future Americans will remember fondly. Chugging through neighborhoods, idling in front of kids’ houses, the vehicles spew both noise and fossil-fuel pollution all across town. In a city like Oakland, California, that significantly worsens air quality, especially in underserved neighborhoods already struggling with pollution .

This August, though, 1,300 special-needs students in the Oakland Unified School District will start riding into the future aboard 74 fully electric buses, operated by a startup called Zum. “Most special-ed students, they have health issues—asthma and stuff like that. They go to school on this noisy, smelly, rough ride, just to get their access to education,” says Kim Raney, executive director of transportation at the Oakland Unified School District. “So this is really going to be a game-changer.”

But the students won’t just be enjoying a quiet, clean journey to school—they’ll also be helping revolutionize the way we all get electricity. The newfangled buses are no ordinary EVs: They’re equipped with vehicle-to-grid technology , or V2G, which allows them to both charge and give power back to the grid.

The global challenge is that as grids shift from fossil-fuel power to renewables , they’ll need to store a whole lot of energy. Demand on the grid spikes when people get home from work and switch on appliances—washing machines, air conditioners or heat pumps , electric stoves. That demand is easy enough to meet with a gas-fired power plant, since it just burns more gas. But for the renewable grid of tomorrow, that peak is unfortunately timed, because the sun is also setting, so there’s less and less solar power available. Part of the solution is banks of giant batteries , charging and discharging in a dedicated facility. The capacity of these is already sizable: On April 30 between 7 pm and 10 pm, California got more than a fifth of its electricity from batteries.

V2G is a more distributed option for backup battery power. EVs need special hardware to discharge to the grid, but more of them with the feature have been trickling out, like Ford’s F-150 Lightning . (V2G requires a special charger, too.) The idea is for Zum’s buses to eventually join millions of other EVs—fleets of city vehicles, cars sitting in suburban garages—as an array of surplus energy. Last year, researchers calculated that we’d need less than a third of the world’s EV owners to opt into V2G programs to meet the demand for energy storage by the year 2030.

A row of Zum electric vehicle chargers with Zum buses parked behind them

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The school bus is in many ways ideal for V2G. “There’s no uncertainty in terms of the use of the bus,” says Patricia Hidalgo-Gonzalez, director of the Renewable Energy and Advanced Mathematics Lab at UC San Diego, who studies the grid but wasn’t involved in the project. “Having that clarity on what the transportation needs are—that makes it much easier for the grid to know when they can make use of that asset.”

Zum’s buses start operating at 6 or 6:30 am, drive kids to school, and finish up by 9 or 9:30 am. While the kids are in class—when there’s the most solar energy flowing into the grid—Zum’s buses plug into fast-chargers. The buses then unplug and drive the kids home in the afternoon. “They have large batteries, typically four to six times a Tesla battery, and they drive very few miles,” says Vivek Garg, cofounder and COO of Zum. “So there’s a lot of battery left by end of the day.”

After the kids are dropped off, the buses plug in again, just as demand is spiking on the grid. But instead of further increasing that demand by charging, the buses send their surplus power back to the grid. Once demand has waned, around 10 pm, the buses start charging, topping themselves up with electricity from nonsolar sources, so they’re ready to pick up kids in the morning. Zum’s system decides when to charge or discharge depending on the time of day, so the driver just has to plug in their bus and walk away.

On weekends, holidays, or over the summer, the buses will spend even more time sitting unused—a whole fleet of batteries that might otherwise be idle. Given the resources needed to make batteries and the need for more grid storage, it makes sense to use what batteries are available as much as possible. “It’s not like you’re placing a battery somewhere and then you’re only using them for energy,” says Garg. “You’re using that battery for transportation, and in the evening you’re using the same battery during the peak hour for stabilizing the grid.”

Get ready to see more of these electric buses—if your kid isn’t already riding in one. Between 2022 and 2026, the EPA’s Clean School Bus Program is providing $5 billion to swap out gas-powered school buses for zero-emission and low-emission ones. States like California are providing additional funding to make the switch.

One hurdle is the significant upfront cost for a school district, as an electric bus costs several times more than an old-school gas-guzzler. But if the bus can do V2G, the excess battery power at the end of the day can be traded as energy back to the grid during peak hours to offset the cost difference. “We have used the V2G revenue to bring this transportation cost at par with the diesel buses,” says Garg.

For the Oakland schools project, Zum has been working with the local utility, Pacific Gas and Electric, to pilot how this works in practice. PG&E is testing out an adaptable system: Depending on the time of day and the supply and demand on the grid, a V2G participant pays a dynamic rate for energy use and gets paid based on the same dynamic rate for the energy they send back to the system. “Having a fleet of 74 buses—to be followed by other fleets, with more buses with Zum—is perfect for this, because we really want something that’s going to scale and make an impact,” says Rudi Halbright, product manager of vehicle-grid-integration pilots and analysis at PG&E.

Think of the diversity of vehicles on the road. Passenger cars have smaller batteries, sure enough, but many people might not actually need the 300 miles of range they paid for. Getting paid for V2G can offset the cost of the vehicle. (An EV can also act as a backup home battery during a power outage, providing additional value.) If people can fully charge their EVs at work, they might have a good amount of power left when they park in their garage at the end of the day, making their battery available to the grid as demand spikes. Then there are delivery vehicles, which have bigger batteries to tap into, and are also useful because they operate on a more fixed schedule. And there are legions of other fleets—run by city governments, universities, and businesses—that can also plug into V2G, providing battery power at different times of day, depending on their own operating schedules.

Let’s consider, though, that the extra charging and discharging can shorten the life of a battery. “We need to be mindful of that, to make sure that we’re being paid enough for the degradation that we have in our battery,” says Hidalgo-Gonzalez. While an EV battery needs to be replaced when its capacity drops below 70 or 80 percent, it can still support the grid outside of the vehicle: You can bundle a bunch of them together to provide storage at dedicated facilities. And the price of batteries continues to decline, so it’s getting cheaper and cheaper to replace them in EVs.

As V2G matures, different regions might land on different rates for buying back electricity; it’ll depend on the local utility and what state-level regulations are eventually put in place. But to reach its full potential, V2G will have to properly incentivize people to opt in. The more participants, the less the demand on any one battery. Many wheels make light work. “That’s one of the nice things of having 74 buses: You take a little from each,” says Halbright. “Our goal is to have 2 million vehicles by 2030 on the road that we have some control over when they’re charging, or in some cases, discharging. You don’t need that many, percentage-wise, participating at any one time to make a big impact.”

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Nearly 4,000 convicted of Covid rule breaches in England since curbs ended

Passengers wearing face masks at Waterloo station in London in 2020

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Nearly 4,000 people in England have been convicted for breaching Covid-19 restrictions since the emergency regime ended more than two years ago, according to a Financial Times analysis of government data.

Criminal defence lawyers said they were surprised by the scale of recent prosecutions, which brings the total number of people convicted in England since restrictions were introduced in March 2020 to 27,600.

Barrister Adam Wagner said: “As time passes, the underlying purpose of the regulations — which was to protect public health — becomes increasingly disconnected from the convictions themselves.”

He added: “There is a reasonable argument that in mid-2024 there is little public interest in proceeding with these prosecutions.”

Ministers have previously said the government did not intend to criminalise large parts of the population for breaches of rules devised at the onset of the pandemic to protect public health.

The emergency measures included requirements to wear face coverings, to self-isolate after infection and for international travellers to provide a test result when entering or leaving the country.

Data from the Ministry of Justice showed 3,990 people were convicted in England for Covid-related offences between March 2022 and December 2023.

While the pace of convictions slowed substantially after 2021, campaigners said it was alarming that people continued to face legal action long after the restrictions were lifted in England at the end of February 2022.

You are seeing a snapshot of an interactive graphic. This is most likely due to being offline or JavaScript being disabled in your browser.

school bus maximum travel time

Prosecutions continued in 2023, even after the World Health Organization declared the Covid-19 health emergency over last May. About 900 individuals were convicted last year, including almost 40 in the final three months of the year.

Fintan Walker, co-director of the Manchester Innocence Project, which investigates potential miscarriages of justice, said: “A lot of these people were of good character. It’s financially ruined some people and caused some serious harm to their reputation.

“Convictions need to be revisited. There should be some kind of amnesty,” he added.

The aggregated data refers to the dates of convictions, not when the offences took place, although separate magistrates’ court records show that some individuals have been prosecuted for alleged breaches of coronavirus rules that took place as late as 2022.

At one recent court hearing observed by the FT, a man was prosecuted for not wearing a face covering on a bus in London in January 2022.

The man, who did not speak English, missed paperwork sent to him about the case after he gave his house number to an enforcement officer as 42 instead of 41.

The court dismissed the case after a key witness failed to appear. The magistrate said it was “not in the interests of justice” to proceed.

Many were prosecuted using the “single justice procedure”, a contentious judicial mechanism that allows magistrates to deal with minor offences from court papers without a hearing. Critics complain the procedure prevents public scrutiny of court decisions.

Most prosecutions have been against younger people, with four in five convictions handed to under-40s, according to the FT analysis.

school bus maximum travel time

A UK government spokesperson said: “The government’s priority during the Covid-19 pandemic was to keep the public safe.

“Decisions to issue FPNs [fixed penalty notices] were made by individual police forces, and if there were concerns around penalties, individuals were entitled to make representations to the issuing force.”

Fixed penalty notices allow offenders to pay a penalty instead of being prosecuted. If an individual opts not to pay an FPN, the matter can be considered by a court.

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North Carolina Student Transportation

[UNDER CONSTRUCTION] Safely and efficiently transporting North Carolina's school children

Frequently Asked Questions

School bus transportation for north carolina public schools.

School bus transportation in North Carolina is a function of each Local Education Agency (LEA). The board of education in each county or city school system is responsible for most of the policies associated with your child’s school bus ride to and from school. Local boards of education develop, implement and enforce most of these policies.

However, there are a number of state laws and policies to which the LEA must adhere. North Carolina General Statutes regarding school transportation are found in Article 17 of Chapter 115C, sections 239-262. Further, state law directs the North Carolina State Board of Education (SBE) to develop and implement policies related to school transportation. These policies are requirements and have the full effect of law.

Laws and policies may be found here .

Following are answers to some of the more frequently asked questions regarding pupil transportation in North Carolina:

Q: How long are students allowed to ride the school bus each way in North Carolina?

A: There is no state law regarding the length of a bus ride. North Carolina has a wide range of geography across the state and the diversity of rural and urban areas results in a very wide range of bus ride times. Some rural counties have an average student ride time of over 50 minutes while some small city LEAs have an average ride time as low as 15 minutes. Individual LEAs may have local policies that require a maximum ride time.

Q: The bus driver told me I am not allowed to get on the bus. Is that true?

A: G.S. 115C-245(b) states that the driver “shall have complete authority over and responsibility for the operation of the bus and the maintaining of good order and conduct upon such bus.” Further, any person boarding the bus after being told not to by the driver is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor according to G.S. 14-132.2.

Q: Are students allowed to stand on the school bus or to sit in the aisles?

A: Absolutely not. State Board of Education policy requires that seating be provided for each student on the bus and that standees are strictly prohibited. Further, each student must be completely seated in the school bus seat – with a padded seat back behind him and a padded seat back in front of him. The same policy requires that the capacity of the bus cannot be exceeded. Violations should be reported to the local director of transportation.

Q: How is the capacity of a school bus determined?

A: Nearly all school buses come equipped with 39 inch seats on either side of a center aisle. The largest buses in North Carolina are the “flat-nose” transit-style school buses that have 26 total seats. The smallest buses have 12 total seats. Most buses have either 22 or 24 seats. The rated capacity is posted on the front bulkhead of each school bus according to student grades. The maximum capacity for grades 9-12 is calculated as the number of seats times two (i.e. two students per seat). The maximum capacity for grades 6-8 is calculated as the number of seats times 2.5, where half of the seats would have two students and half would have three students. The maximum capacity for grades Kindergarten through 5 is calculated as the number of seats times 3 (i.e. three students per seat). These are MAXIMUM capacities and, while the LEA may not exceed the rated capacity of the bus, the LEA must also provide seating – within the seating compartment – for all students assigned to the bus, whether or not the assigned load reaches the maximum capacity.

Q: My child’s bus stop has been moved from the location where it has been for several years. What can I do?

A: The LEA is required to establish a bus stop for each student within one mile of the student’s residence. Nearly all bus stops are, in reality, much closer than this. G.S. 115C-246 states that buses must be routed “so that the bus passes within one mile of the residence of each pupil assigned to that bus.” Any bus stop within one mile of the residence is “legal”. The appeal process is to the local board of education, under rules established by that local board of education for such appeals. Most boards of education meet monthly in public meetings and allocate some time for comments from parents and community members.

Q: My school system says that they don’t get enough money from the state to come down my street or to add another bus. Is that true?

A: Each LEA receives a block grant of funding through the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, as its portion of the school transportation appropriation from the North Carolina General Assembly. It is up to that LEA to determine how those funds will be spent, within state requirements. The LEA receives a percentage of its actual prior-year expenditures according to a formula that assigns a “budget rating” which is, in part, a measure of efficiency. The fewer buses operated and the lower the expenditures, the higher the efficiency and therefore the budget rating. In short, LEAs have a financial incentive to provide efficient service using the least number of buses necessary. It is up to the local board of education to determine their transportation policies as they must balance service with efficiency.

Q: My child has special needs and can’t get to and from the bus stop. How can her needs be accommodated?

A: A student with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) may have Transportation listed as a related service. Further, that IEP may require specialized equipment (e.g. wheelchair lift) or other accommodations so that the student can be safely transported to and from school. In such cases where there is an IEP, the school district has an obligation to make sure that those needs are met. The LEA may decide that those needs can be met via transportation by school bus or may identify an alternative method, such as contracting with a third party to transport the student

Q: The bus won’t come in my private subdivision. What can I do?

A: G.S. 115C-246(b) states that “unless road or other conditions make it inadvisable, public school buses shall be routed on state ­maintained highways, municipal streets, or other streets with publicly dedicated right ­of ­way.” It is up to the local board of education to determine what other conditions might require or preclude the routing of school buses on private roads. The appeal process is to the local board of education.

Q: What determines whether or not my local board of education will allow school buses to travel on a private road?

A: There is no requirement to travel private roads, as stated in the previous answer. However, the local board may consider routing a bus on a private road for student safety reasons. In order to ensure that the bus can travel safely, some local boards may require written permission from the owner(s) of the road in order to travel and may also require that the owner(s) keep the road maintained suitable for school bus travel. G.S. 115C-246(b) also states that, with regard to school buses routed on state-maintained highways, municipal streets and other streets with publicly dedicate right-of-way, “the local board of education shall not be responsible for damage to the roadway.”

Q: I have been told that the school bus cannot come down my dead-end road. Why?

A: State Board of Education policy states the following with regard to school bus routing: 

Superintendents shall plan bus routes in a way designed to conserve fuel and to use buses efficiently.

A route may not deviate from a general path of direction for a distance of less than one-half mile and then return to the original path except for groups of 10 or more pupils, unescorted pupils in grades K-3 or special education pupils. 

Unless safety factors require otherwise, superintendents may not plan bus stops closer together than 0.2 miles.

Q: Why don’t school buses have seat belts?

A: School buses afford students the safest form of transportation to and from school. This has been validated by federal crash testing and research by the National Academy of Sciences. School buses have to meet rigid federal construction standards for the sides and top of the bus, fuel tanks and inside of each bus. The thick padded seats and seat-backs provide a passive form of crash protection known as “compartmentalization.” This padding, combined with the placement of the seating area high above the impact zone (with most other vehicles), offers a protection that has resulted in an unmatched record of passenger safety.  Meanwhile, improvements in seat belt technology has allowed more buses to incorporate three-point belts without reducing capacity.  Further information can be found at BIA. 

Q: My child is having a birthday party after school and I would like for her friends to ride the bus home with her. We can do that, right?

A: This is a decision that rests with the local board of education. The primary responsibility of that board, with regard to school bus routing, is to see that all students entitled to transportation have a bus assignment for their daily ride to and from school and that all bus assignments are done in a way as to provide seating for all students. If the superintendent (or designee) changes school bus assignments for a day – as you described – adequate seating for all students must be provided.

Q: I am disabled and unable to accompany my child to the bus stop each morning. Can the bus stop at my home?

A: State law requires that the school bus be routed within one mile of your home, if the student lives 1.5 miles or more from school. Any other decisions about the placement of your child’s bus stop are up to the local board of education. Usually situations like this are handled on a case-by-case basis. Your appeal would be to the local board of education.

Q: Are charter schools required to provide transportation to and from school?  

A: No. Charter schools are required to have a plan to ensure that transportation is not a barrier for any student; however, the school does not have to provide transportation for every student.

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Leon schools scraps bus service, delays start time Monday; SAIL, Sabal Palm to remain closed

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All Leon County public schools will be open Monday except SAIL High School and Sabal Palm Elementary School, Leon Schools Superintendent Rocky Hanna said on Facebook Live Sunday night.

Two tornadoes swept through Tallahassee early Friday, leaving the city in disbelief – and in the dark . Hanna said power has been restored at almost all schools, though there will be some changes in school day routines for students and parents.

“Tomorrow we're going to make some adjustments but we are going to have our schools open that have power and the capacity to accept students,” Hanna said.

He also said school buses will not operate because of road hazards such as downed trees and power lines. Student absences will be excused for hardships and all school start times will be delayed by 30 minutes. No students will be on the ACE, or Lively campus, including the Pre-K program, he added.

“Although my personal vehicle can navigate the roads, our buses are just not going to be able to pull it off. There's too many lines that are still down, trees that are leaning over there, and our buses can't clear,” Hanna said.

Despite the changes, dismissal times will be the same, before-school supervision will still be available and cafeteria meals will be served.

But Advanced Placement and Florida Assessment of Student Thinking (FAST) exams will be rescheduled because of internet instability. Hanna said all LCS staff should report to work as normal.

The 30-minute delay sets the elementary school start time back to 9 a.m., the middle school start time to 10 a.m., and the high school start time to 8 a.m., to give parents time to manage transportation for their students.

In a separate email, SAIL High School Principal Matt Roberson told students and families he "anticipates power to be restored for students to return on Tuesday."

Alaijah Brown covers children & families for the Tallahassee Democrat. She can be reached at [email protected] .

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The huge solar storm is keeping power grid and satellite operators on edge

Geoff Brumfiel, photographed for NPR, 17 January 2019, in Washington DC.

Geoff Brumfiel

Willem Marx

school bus maximum travel time

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this image of solar flares early Saturday afternoon. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says there have been measurable effects and impacts from the geomagnetic storm. Solar Dynamics Observatory hide caption

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this image of solar flares early Saturday afternoon. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says there have been measurable effects and impacts from the geomagnetic storm.

Planet Earth is getting rocked by the biggest solar storm in decades – and the potential effects have those people in charge of power grids, communications systems and satellites on edge.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says there have been measurable effects and impacts from the geomagnetic storm that has been visible as aurora across vast swathes of the Northern Hemisphere. So far though, NOAA has seen no reports of major damage.

Photos: See the Northern lights from rare solar storm

The Picture Show

Photos: see the northern lights from rare, solar storm.

There has been some degradation and loss to communication systems that rely on high-frequency radio waves, NOAA told NPR, as well as some preliminary indications of irregularities in power systems.

"Simply put, the power grid operators have been busy since yesterday working to keep proper, regulated current flowing without disruption," said Shawn Dahl, service coordinator for the Boulder, Co.-based Space Weather Prediction Center at NOAA.

NOAA Issues First Severe Geomagnetic Storm Watch Since 2005

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"Satellite operators are also busy monitoring spacecraft health due to the S1-S2 storm taking place along with the severe-extreme geomagnetic storm that continues even now," Dahl added, saying some GPS systems have struggled to lock locations and offered incorrect positions.

NOAA's GOES-16 satellite captured a flare erupting occurred around 2 p.m. EDT on May 9, 2024.

As NOAA had warned late Friday, the Earth has been experiencing a G5, or "Extreme," geomagnetic storm . It's the first G5 storm to hit the planet since 2003, when a similar event temporarily knocked out power in part of Sweden and damaged electrical transformers in South Africa.

The NOAA center predicted that this current storm could induce auroras visible as far south as Northern California and Alabama.

Extreme (G5) geomagnetic conditions have been observed! pic.twitter.com/qLsC8GbWus — NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center (@NWSSWPC) May 10, 2024

Around the world on social media, posters put up photos of bright auroras visible in Russia , Scandinavia , the United Kingdom and continental Europe . Some reported seeing the aurora as far south as Mallorca, Spain .

The source of the solar storm is a cluster of sunspots on the sun's surface that is 17 times the diameter of the Earth. The spots are filled with tangled magnetic fields that can act as slingshots, throwing huge quantities of charged particles towards our planet. These events, known as coronal mass ejections, become more common during the peak of the Sun's 11-year solar cycle.

A powerful solar storm is bringing northern lights to unusual places

Usually, they miss the Earth, but this time, NOAA says several have headed directly toward our planet, and the agency predicted that several waves of flares will continue to slam into the Earth over the next few days.

While the storm has proven to be large, predicting the effects from such incidents can be difficult, Dahl said.

Shocking problems

The most disruptive solar storm ever recorded came in 1859. Known as the "Carrington Event," it generated shimmering auroras that were visible as far south as Mexico and Hawaii. It also fried telegraph systems throughout Europe and North America.

Stronger activity on the sun could bring more displays of the northern lights in 2024

Stronger activity on the sun could bring more displays of the northern lights in 2024

While this geomagnetic storm will not be as strong, the world has grown more reliant on electronics and electrical systems. Depending on the orientation of the storm's magnetic field, it could induce unexpected electrical currents in long-distance power lines — those currents could cause safety systems to flip, triggering temporary power outages in some areas.

my cat just experienced the aurora borealis, one of the world's most radiant natural phenomena... and she doesn't care pic.twitter.com/Ee74FpWHFm — PJ (@kickthepj) May 10, 2024

The storm is also likely to disrupt the ionosphere, a section of Earth's atmosphere filled with charged particles. Some long-distance radio transmissions use the ionosphere to "bounce" signals around the globe, and those signals will likely be disrupted. The particles may also refract and otherwise scramble signals from the global positioning system, according to Rob Steenburgh, a space scientist with NOAA. Those effects can linger for a few days after the storm.

Like Dahl, Steenburgh said it's unclear just how bad the disruptions will be. While we are more dependent than ever on GPS, there are also more satellites in orbit. Moreover, the anomalies from the storm are constantly shifting through the ionosphere like ripples in a pool. "Outages, with any luck, should not be prolonged," Steenburgh said.

What Causes The Northern Lights? Scientists Finally Know For Sure

What Causes The Northern Lights? Scientists Finally Know For Sure

The radiation from the storm could have other undesirable effects. At high altitudes, it could damage satellites, while at low altitudes, it's likely to increase atmospheric drag, causing some satellites to sink toward the Earth.

The changes to orbits wreak havoc, warns Tuija Pulkkinen, chair of the department of climate and space sciences at the University of Michigan. Since the last solar maximum, companies such as SpaceX have launched thousands of satellites into low Earth orbit. Those satellites will now see their orbits unexpectedly changed.

"There's a lot of companies that haven't seen these kind of space weather effects before," she says.

The International Space Station lies within Earth's magnetosphere, so its astronauts should be mostly protected, Steenburgh says.

In a statement, NASA said that astronauts would not take additional measures to protect themselves. "NASA completed a thorough analysis of recent space weather activity and determined it posed no risk to the crew aboard the International Space Station and no additional precautionary measures are needed," the agency said late Friday.

school bus maximum travel time

People visit St Mary's lighthouse in Whitley Bay to see the aurora borealis on Friday in Whitley Bay, England. Ian Forsyth/Getty Images hide caption

People visit St Mary's lighthouse in Whitley Bay to see the aurora borealis on Friday in Whitley Bay, England.

While this storm will undoubtedly keep satellite operators and utilities busy over the next few days, individuals don't really need to do much to get ready.

"As far as what the general public should be doing, hopefully they're not having to do anything," Dahl said. "Weather permitting, they may be visible again tonight." He advised that the largest problem could be a brief blackout, so keeping some flashlights and a radio handy might prove helpful.

I took these photos near Ranfurly in Central Otago, New Zealand. Anyone can use them please spread far and wide. :-) https://t.co/NUWpLiqY2S — Dr Andrew Dickson reform/ACC (@AndrewDickson13) May 10, 2024

And don't forget to go outside and look up, adds Steenburgh. This event's aurora is visible much further south than usual.

A faint aurora can be detected by a modern cell phone camera, he adds, so even if you can't see it with your eyes, try taking a photo of the sky.

The aurora "is really the gift from space weather," he says.

  • space weather
  • solar flares
  • solar storm

IMAGES

  1. How Long Is a School Bus? (Short-Mid-Long Sizes Explained)

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  2. Making the Grade: How new guidelines for school buses would work

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  3. WATCH: North America‘s Largest ZEV School Bus Fleet Adds 10 New LionC

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  4. 15 Tips To Optimize School Bus Routes For Maximum Efficiency

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  5. What Is The Length Of a School Bus? (Dimensions Guide)

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  6. Bus Rules & Safety

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VIDEO

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  2. Back to school rules: Do your children know how to stay safe on the bus?

  3. School Bus Safety Rules and Expectations for First-Time Riders!

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  5. What are the rules when driving around school buses?

  6. Bus Simulator 21

COMMENTS

  1. School Bus Regulations FAQs

    Under 49 U.S.C. 30101, et seq., a vehicle is regarded as being sold for use as a school bus if, at the time of sale, it is evident that the vehicle is likely to be significantly used to transport students to or from school or school-related events. ... The school bus manufacturers determine the maximum seating capacity of a school bus. The ...

  2. School Bus Laws By State: When To Stop And When Not To!

    North Carolina School Bus Laws. The maximum speed limit for a school bus is 45 mph. School bus drivers travel more than half a million miles and transport almost three-quarters of a million children each school day. During the hours that school buses are operating (generally 7 - 9 a.m. and 2 - 4 p.m.), drivers should be especially careful.

  3. School Bus Laws by State

    School Bus Laws in Nebraska. Failing to stop for a school bus will result in 3 points on your driving record. School buses will activate amber warning lights when they are preparing to stop to unload or load children. When meeting or overtaking a bus, reduce your speed to 25 mph and be prepared to stop.

  4. Planning Safer School Bus Stops and Routes

    Student Safety. While school buses provide the safest mode of school transportation for K-12 students, from 2012 to 2021, there were 206 school-age children who died in school-transportation-related crashes, with 78 of those children being pedestrians.Children who ride school buses are the most vulnerable when waiting at bus stops, loading or unloading from buses, or while walking between bus ...

  5. Maximum Time That a Pupil May Spend on a Bus

    Education Law (EL 3635) does not contain a maximum length of time that a pupil may be expected to spend riding on a school bus. However, it is widely accepted that the en route time must be reasonable. The Commissioner of Education has held that numerous factors may be considered in determining whether the amount of time is reasonable. Such ...

  6. School Bus Safety

    Although school buses are extremely safe, we have investigated school bus crashes in which children were injured and, in some cases, died, and identified areas in which safety improvements are needed. Stats to Know. From 2011 to 2020: • 1,009 Fatal school transportation related crashes. • 52% - Over half of school-age pedestrians killed in ...

  7. FAQs

    Individual LEAs may have local policies that require a maximum ride time. Q: The bus driver told me I am not allowed to get on the bus. Is that true? ... keep the road maintained suitable for school bus travel. G.S. 115C-246(b) also states that, with regard to school buses routed on state-maintained highways, municipal streets and other streets ...

  8. How long is a school bus? Measurements for builds & budgets

    Bathroom: Adding a bathroom with a toilet, shower, and sink for convenience. Yellow school bus average measurements. Length: 35-45 feet. Width: 8 feet. Interior height: 6.5 feet. Wheelbase: approximately 20 feet. Height: 9.5-10.5 feet. Internal living space: 240-280 square feet. Roof raises and rear door measurements.

  9. School Bus FAQ

    How much does a school bus weigh? Large school buses have a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of up to about 36,000 pounds. Small school buses typically have a GVWR in the range of 9,000 to 14,000 pounds. GVWR includes the weight of passengers, so these weights would be for fully loaded school buses.

  10. ISM School Bus

    The following link shows a map of approximate school bus service areas: Approximate Service Areas. For more information about the possibility of including your address in one of the school bus routes, please contact the School Bus Coordinator: Email: [email protected]. Tel.: +7 (926) 640-55-63 (phone calls or messages via WhatsApp or ...

  11. Information for School Bus Operators

    Information for School Bus Operators. Document. School Bus Brochure_508.pdf (4.37 MB) The applicability of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) varies depending on the type of transportation provided in a school bus. This document is designed to clarify what Federal regulations are applicable to school bus transportation.

  12. School Bus Safety

    Penalties for passing stopped school bus include: Minimum fine of $165, if you pass on the side where children enter and exit, you will receive a minimum fine of $265. On July 1, 2017, the Cameron Mayhew Act took effect in Florida, which increases the minimum penalty for drivers who illegally pass a stopped school bus, resulting in the injury ...

  13. UAE: Adek outlines new requirements for school transport

    Published: Wed 9 Mar 2022, 3:38 PM. The Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (Adek) has outlined a number of requirements that private school buses must adhere to while transporting ...

  14. The first electric school bus fleet in the US will also power Oakland homes

    It's the first all-electric bus fleet serving a major US school district. Starting in August, the 74 vehicles will also supply 2.1 gigawatt-hours of electricity to the Bay Area power grid ...

  15. New York DMV

    Vehicle Operators - There are legal and financial consequences for vehicle operators who pass a school bus while the school bus is stopped for the purpose of dropping off or picking up passengers and red lights on the school bus are flashing. First conviction - fine of $250-$400 and/or up to 30 days in jail. Second conviction within 3 years ...

  16. Speed Limit for School Buses

    On the highway, whether loaded or unloaded, I think the buses are allowed to travel at the posted speed limit which is 60. That is the most local highway in my area. Very few buses travel below 60. Most travel at a speed of 60-65 mph (with passengers). I have also heard of some school bus drivers even managing 65-70 at the most on there buses.

  17. Iowa School Bus Safety

    Criminal citation Iowa Code 321.372(5)(b)(1) — Unlawful passing of school bus first offense, simple misdemeanor. Fine At least $345, but not more than $930. Imprisonment The court may order imprisonment not to exceed 30 days in lieu of or in addition to a fine.. Driving privilege suspension The Iowa DOT will impose a 30-day suspension. You may have an opportunity to complete our driver ...

  18. Texas Specifications for School Buses

    1991 Texas School Bus Specifications. School Bus Specifications - Part 1 of 3 (PDF) School Bus Specifications - Part 2 of 3 (PDF) School Bus Specifications - Part 3 of 3 (PDF)

  19. These Electric School Buses Are on Their Way to Save the Grid

    Zum's buses start operating at 6 or 6:30 am, drive kids to school, and finish up by 9 or 9:30 am. While the kids are in class—when there's the most solar energy flowing into the grid—Zum ...

  20. Travel Time Calculator

    Travelmath provides an online travel time calculator to help you figure out flight and driving times. You can compare the results to see the effect on the total duration of your trip. Usually, the flight time will be shorter, but if the destination is close, the driving time can still be reasonable. Another popular tool is the time difference ...

  21. MSD Transportation

    Parents of Moscow School District students who need to ride a District bus to school should call the MSD Transportation Office at 208-882-3933 as soon as possible and no later than August 23. And due to the ongoing lack of available bus drivers, Moscow School District will not be able to run two in-town daily routes, routes 112 and 115, at the ...

  22. PDF Selecting School Bus Stop Locations

    Safety Administration, approximately 450,000 public school buses travel approximately 4.3 billion miles to transport 23.5 million children to and from school and school-related activities. 2 On average, 20 school-age children die each year in school bus-related crashes or incidents. Of these 20, five of the children are injured inside the bus,

  23. Flight Time Calculator

    Flying time between cities. Travelmath provides an online flight time calculator for all types of travel routes. You can enter airports, cities, states, countries, or zip codes to find the flying time between any two points. The database uses the great circle distance and the average airspeed of a commercial airliner to figure out how long a ...

  24. Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport opening new terminal

    Those who park at the old terminal but board or arrive at the new terminal will be able to use a bus system to travel between the two. Pullman Transit is also supporting the airport's expansion ...

  25. Nearly 4,000 convicted of Covid rule breaches in England since curbs ended

    Nearly 4,000 people in England have been convicted for breaching Covid-19 restrictions since the emergency regime ended over two years ago, according to a Financial Times analysis of government data.

  26. School Bus Transportation for North Carolina Public Schools

    The largest buses in North Carolina are the "flat-nose" transit-style school buses that have 26 total seats. The smallest buses have 12 total seats. Most buses have either 22 or 24 seats. The rated capacity is posted on the front bulkhead of each school bus according to student grades. The maximum capacity for grades 9-12 is calculated as ...

  27. No buses, delayed start times for Leon County district schools Monday

    Hanna said all LCS staff should report to work as normal. The 30-minute delay sets the elementary school start time back to 9 a.m., the middle school start time to 10 a.m., and the high school ...

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    It was first established in 1920 and at that time, all of its courses were taught in Russian and followed the Russian education model. These days HIT is known as "China's MIT".

  29. The giant solar storm is having measurable effects on Earth : NPR

    The huge solar storm is keeping power grid and satellite operators on edge. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this image of solar flares early Saturday afternoon. The National Oceanic and ...