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Safety Reminder: When to Stop for a School Bus

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school bus safety tips for drivers

More than 15 million cars illegally pass school bus stop paddles each year, according to the latest statistics from National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services. On a single school day, this translates to 83,944 vehicles passing stopped school buses.

Experimenting with extra safety measures

Some school districts, like the Seattle School District, are starting to use automated school bus stop paddle cameras to increase driver accountability when it comes to stopping a proper distance behind a parked bus.

Besides school districts implementing more technology on buses, however, safer driving habits play a significant role in keeping students safe. Here’s a brief refresher on when to stop for a school bus.

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Safe driving guidelines

If you’re driving on a road with three or more lanes and traveling in the opposite direction as the bus, you don’t need to stop. Additionally, if you’re driving on a road with a median in the center and traveling in the opposite direction as the bus, you don’t need to stop.

If you’re driving on the same side of the road as the school bus and following behind it, you definitely need to stop. This holds true even if there is a median separating your lane from the oncoming traffic lane. You also need to stop your vehicle when you’re driving on the opposite side of the road and there is no median.

Parting thoughts

The main goal of safety regulations regarding school buses is to keep children safe. If you’re not sure when to stop for a parked school bus, it’s usually best to do so to protect students as they travel to and from their educational institution.

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News Source: KIRO-TV