It’s a familiar sight now that school is back in session – those big yellow school buses driving slowly and carrying precious cargo. When you kiss your child goodbye in the morning and help them on to the school bus you hope that the bus driver will drive safely and respect the rules of the road. But other drivers also need to be aware of school buses and the special rules that apply to them to help keep children safe.
- When driving behind a bus, be prepared for it to slow down or stop completely. The yellow lights will flash to signal that children are boarding or leaving the bus. Leave a greater following distance than if you were driving behind a car to allow for these stops. All 50 states have passed laws against passing a school bus that is stopped to allow children on or off the bus.
- If a bus has its yellow or red lights flashing and the stop arm extended, all traffic must stop from both directions. Wait until the flashing lights are turned off, the stop sign arm is retracted, and the bus begins to move again before continuing to drive.
- When a school bus is stopped, stop a sufficient distance back to allow enough space for children to exit and enter the bus. The 10 feet area around the school bus is the most dangerous for children.
- Be particularly alert of children walking or running in the roadway around the bus. Children often do not pay attention to hazards around them and may act unpredictably.
- Review speed limits and traffic laws near school buses and schools. Many laws change during school hours.
Following these rules when driving near school buses can help prevent the tragic death or injury of a child. Unfortunately, accidents occur every day. If you or a loved one has been injured in a vehicle-related accident, you need knowledgeable and experienced lawyers on your side. The attorneys at Alexander Law Group, LLP will provide a free case evaluation to discuss your rights. With convenient office locations in San Jose and San Francisco, our team stands by ready to help. Contact us at 888.777.1776 or visit our website at www.alexanderlaw.com to find out more.