Do Not Pass the Big Yellow Bus

With our kids back in school, we motorists must share the road with school buses every day. Unfortunately, most of our children are being transported to school at the same time we are rushing to work. If we are not careful, innocent children might be injured or killed.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Motor Vehicles, 1.5 million children are transported on Pennsylvania roads every day. Although the state has a strict law regarding the passing of stopped school buses, more than 1,000 motorists disregard that law annually.

All 50 states have laws with respect to motorists and school buses. In Pennsylvania, the law requires motorists to STOP at least 10 feet away from the school bus when they meet or overtake a stopped school bus with red signal lights flashing and stop arm extended, or when they approach an intersection where a school bus is stopped with red signal lights flashing and stop arm extended. Drivers are not allowed to resume moving until the red lights have stopped flashing and the stop arm has been retracted. Make sure all children have boarded or have left the bus safely.

Motorists must STOP for a school bus boarding or discharging students if they are:
• On roadways with painted lines.
• At an intersection whether or not it is marked by a stop sign.
• On roadways with ridged, grooved dividers.

Drivers MAY PASS a stopped school bus on a highway with clearly defined dividing sections or physical barriers providing separate roadways (such as Interstate 81). This only applies when the school bus is on the opposite side of the road.

Of course, the most important reason for not violating Pennsylvania’s School Bus Stopping Law is to protect the lives of innocent children. However, motorists might also be concerned about the stiff penalties that they face if they break the law.

These penalties include ALL of the following:
• Driver’s license suspension for 60 days
• Five points on their driving record
• $250 fine

No matter how you look at it, there is absolutely no advantage to speeding – or even squeaking –past a stopped school bus. But there is a lot of satisfaction in knowing we have done all we can to ensure our children’s safety.

The attorneys and staff of Powell Law wish all area children a safe and happy school year.

Established in 1906, Powell Law is Northeastern Pennsylvania’s oldest personal injury law firm. Our PA personal injury lawyers have successfully represented thousands of clients in serious personal injury cases, including PA car accidents, tractor-trailer accidents, motorcycle accidents, PA medical malpractice, PA worker’s comp, slip and fall, product-related injuries and Social Security disability claims. Our PA criminal defense attorneys represent defendants in all types of summary, misdemeanor and felony cases ranging from drunk driving cases to major crimes in both state and federal courts. Powell Law has offices in Scranton, Stroudsburg, Taylor and Moscow. Call us toll free at 800-290-7707.

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