School Bus Rules of the Road
A Short Safety Refresher for the Back to School Season in New York
There is nothing more important than the safety of our children in getting back and forth to school. Whether they are walking, riding a bike or traveling in a school bus, it is imperative for drivers to be constantly aware, patient and exercise caution. Take a look through the following information for a refresher on School Bus Rules of the Road.
First of all, have patience when driving. Leave yourself extra time for your morning and afternoon commutes, especially if you travel during the typical school pick-up and drop-off times of day in your area. School busses make frequent stops, so be prepared for this and drive carefully. Slow down so that you can get where you are going on time and without incident.
In addition, driving in the fall and winter seasons can be slippery. Wet leaves during the fall and snow and ice conditions in the winter and early spring can be hazardous and make it more difficult to stop safely. The best preventative measure for an accident is to reduce your speed when driving and be vigilant about intersections, crosswalks and general travel routes to and from our local schools. Don’t follow a bus (or line of following cars) too closely. You are at a disadvantage when you can’t see what might be ahead, and if a bus slows suddenly to avoid a hazard, you don’t want to be in a situation where you collide with the vehicle in front of you.
When a school bus is getting ready to stop, their lights will flash yellow. This is your indication to begin slowing down and prepare to stop your vehicle. All traffic must stop when the lights turn to red and the bus is actively loading or unloading passengers. This applies to cars that are behind the bus (no passing allowed) as well as to vehicles that are traveling in the opposite direction – even if it is a divided highway. If the red lights are on and the stop sign is out, all traffic must stop until the bus gets back underway. Your car must be at least 20 feet away from the bus when you are stopped.
Image from New York DMV – where you must stop for a stopped school bus.
Many busses now are equipped with cameras to capture information about vehicles that pass a stopped school bus and violations can exact some hefty fines and penalties for violations. Points for driving infractions can increase your auto insurance costs and premiums, and convictions can even result in jail time.
For full information on School Bus Safety from the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles, please visit https://dmv.ny.gov/more-info/school-bus-safety. For help with all your insurance needs, contact our team at Bieritz Insurance at 607-547-2951 or submit our web contact form at https://bieritzinsurance.com/contact-us/.