Motor vehicle safety around school buses

Every year, there are more children injured and killed as they are getting on and off a school bus than riding in a school bus. Getting on and off the bus are the most dangerous parts of the school bus ride. It’s important that drivers know the laws regarding stopping for school bus. Clearly stated:

It is illegal to pass a stopped school bus when red lights are flashing and the STOP sign is out.

In Washington state, it is estimated that 4,000 motorists go through STOP signs on school buses every year, endangering the lives of children and. Drivers who illegally pass a school bus can be fined $394 for their first offense. Washington Vehicle Code 46.61.370 allows school bus drivers to report any drivers who run a STOP sign and fill out a violation form; no law enforcement officer must investigate or fill out the citation.
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For drivers, here are the rules for stopping around school buses:

  • If a school bus has amber lights flashing in the front and back, motorists should slow down and prepare to stop.
  • If a school bus has red lights flashing and the STOP paddle extended, motorists must stop, no passing is allowed. On a two lane roadway, traffic in both directions must stop. If there are 3 or more lanes, motorists must stop if they are traveling in the same direction as the school bus.
  • Motorists must remain stopped until the lights have stopped flashing and the STOP sign is pulled in.
  • If a bus is pulled over on the shoulder or a parking line and only amber lights are flashing, motorists do not have to stop.

This information is provided by Seattle Car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in pedestrian accidents and car accidents and the family of those killed.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. We have offices in Seattle and Bellevue to assist you.