Rhett Hoestenbach, P.C. Law Firm

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Road Safety: School Bus Edition

When the well being of children is involved, road safety becomes even more important.
There are many laws in place to protect kids travelling to and from school on their big
yellow bus, but some of these laws are unknown to many drivers. Here is what you need
to know when you're on the road near a school bus full of students.
1. Know when and where to stop.
To keep kids loading and unloading the bus safe, cars are required to stop
on either side of the road whenever the bus does. The bus's stop sign will extend
out from the side and red lights will usually flash to indicate surrounding drivers
to hit the brakes. You cannot pass a bus when it is stopped because kids may be
crossing the street and they need the road clear for safe arrival.
Pro-tip: Even if the bus is still moving but has begun to flash its lights as an indication of an
approaching stop, you cannot pass the vehicle. Many buses have external cameras
to catch drivers who try to pass them in this way. If lights are flashing, you should
remain alert and behind. Those tickets aren't cheap.
Exceptions to this rule include divided highways. If you are on the
opposite road or lane in this situation you need not stop. This is not to say you are
exempt from stopping on a two-lane road. Know the road's layout and rules
before beginning your commute.
2. Know when you may proceed.
After waiting for the bus to stop and the kids to cross, you should pay
close attention to the actions of the bus driver and his or her indications to
proceed on your course. You may resume motion when the bus resumes motion, if
the driver motions or indicates you may move forward or when the lights or stop
signs are turned off or retracted.
3.Know how to maneuver through a school zone.
You've probably seen the signs. They often flash yellow lights to indicate
your arrival into a school zone. In a school zone there is usually a lower speed
limit and higher fines for traffic violations. So what exactly is a school zone? It is
an area or street near a school or a school's crosswalk. Essentially it refers to an
area in which students and school buses are prominent. It should go without
saying you should be especially alert when driving through these areas to ensure
your safety and the safety of the young ones around you.
Road safety should always be a top priority, but when children are involved the stakes are
inevitably raised. Make it a priority to know the rules and to follow them closely. As
always, if you or someone you know is involved in or is the victim of an automobile
accident, contact Rhett Hoestenbach, personal injury lawyer, to get the help and support
you need.

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