Back to School Means Back to School Bus Safety

School buses and school students will be out on the roads and sidewalks; be aware and be safe.

As parents and students prepare for school to start, Pennsylvania motorists that back-to-school season also means school buses are back on the road.

"Children can be distracted by the excitement of returning to school and reuniting with their classmates," said PennDOT Secretary Barry J. Schoch, P.E. in a release from PennDOT.

PennDOT reminds motorists to pay attention to students as they board and exit buses and obey traffic laws regarding school buses and school zones.

Under Pennsylvania law:

  • Motorists approaching a school bus with its red lights flashing and stop am extended, must stop at least 10 feet from the bus.
  • Motorists approaching a school bus with its red lights flashing and stop arm extended from all directions are required to stop.
  • Drivers who approach a school bus on the opposite side of a divided highway, such as a concrete barrier or grass medians, are not required to stop.

Parents should also discuss bus and road safety tips with students before the school year starts.

  • Get to the bus stop early. PennDOT recommends getting to the bus stop at least five minutes early to avoid having to run to catch the bus.
  • When crossing the street, be sure to look left-right-left to make sure all cars have stopped or that the road is clear.
  • Stay at least five steps away from the curb or roadway to avoid traffic, and 10 steps away from the bus on all sides so the bus driver can see you.
  • Never, ever walk behind the school bus.

For more safety tips, visit the School Bus Safety link under the Traffic Safety Information Center.


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