Every year when school starts after summer break, the news reports always include stories of drivers who fail to stop for school buses that are loading and unloading children. In some cases, the story is about a near miss where a child almost was hit or an accident was narrowly avoided. However, many times, the story is about how the driver killed or seriously injured a child or multiple children due to his or her actions. Stopping for a school bus is not only important to protect children but it is also the law in Pennsylvania.
The Department of Transportation explains that you cannot pass a school bus when it has extended its stop sign and has red flashing lights. The yellow flashing lights are a warning that the bus is going to stop, so if you are already proceeding by the bus, you may continue, but as soon as the lights turn red and the stop sign extends, you must stop if you are behind the bus or coming towards the bus in the other lane of a two-lane road.
You may begin moving once the stop sign retracts and the red lights stop flashing. Keep in mind when stopping, you should be at least 10 feet away from the bus. This is true whether you are behind or in front of the bus.
The only time you may proceed when a bus is stopped and picking up children is if you are on a divided highway going the opposite direction of the bus or there is some other division in the road, such as a barrier, and you are going the opposite way. This information is for education and is not legal advice.