School buses are not like the typical motor vehicle. They are huge and heavy vehicles with greater blind spots and need more space to maneuver compared to a standard vehicle. These busses carry our young ones from home to school and vice versa. These are considered safer alternatives than driving in cars because school buses are the most regulated vehicles on the road.
Buses need to be treated differently than other average-sized vehicles because they carry the future of the country in them. For this reason, it is important that the drivers know how to react to a school bus which is in operation. They must adhere to certain signals and stops to ensure the safety of the other drivers and the passengers.
Here are a few laws which you need to follow when you are around a school bus:-
• Right of way
The number 1 rule that most drivers fail to follow is that when a school bus stops and flashes a red light, the drivers behind should not pass the school bus and the traffic approaching from even across a divided road must stop. Failing to stop your car on even the opposite side of the highway may possibly get you a ticket.
• Stop at least 20 feet away
In New York stopping too close to a school bus is against the law. If you are in a car then you must maintain at least 20 feet of a gap from the back or the front of a school bus at the time of stopping. In case you are any closer than 20 feet, you are at risk of getting a ticket.
• The school bus driver can override flashing red lights
The driver of the school bus has the authority to wave cars past if the bus has stopped for a longer duration. The drivers before passing should make 100% sure that the driver of the school bus gave them a visual OK to pass. If not, you would be breaking the laws put in place for driving around a school bus.
• Even after the bus door closes and students leave, you may not be able to pass
The law in New York clearly states that if the red lights of the school bus are flashing you cannot pass the bus even if the students have left the bus and the door has been shut. As long as the lights of the bus continue to flash, you wait or you are at a risk of getting a ticket.
• Be aware of the light signals of the school bus
Yellow flashing light – This means that the bus is preparing to stop to load or unload the students. When you see the yellow light flashing, just slow down your vehicle and prepare to stop.
Red flashing light – This means that the bus has stopped and the students are getting on or off it. When you see the red light flashing, stop your vehicle and wait until the school bus resumes motion or the driver or the police signal you to proceed.
• First-time offenders are fined and maybe even have to serve jail time
Failing to follow the laws for the school bus may get you into huge trouble. First-time offenders have to pay $250 to $400, automatic 5 points on the license and maybe even 30 days in jail.
Were you aware of all these rules? Watch out for those red flashing lights and help keep yourself, the kids and the driver safe. Stay alert all the time when on the road and especially around school buses.
If your child was seriously injured as a result of a negligent driver that failed to obey the laws of the school bus, contact Siler & Ingber personal injury lawyers immediately. We shall work hard to get you the compensation you deserve for the pain and trauma that your child had to undergo.
Get in touch with our team for a free case review and consultation.