WEST CHESTER (August 19, 2019) –With many students returning to school in the coming weeks, state Senator Andy Dinniman reminded residents and drivers of the importance of Pennsylvania’s School Bus Stopping Law.

“Back-to-school time is upon us and in the coming days, school buses will be back on local roadways,” Dinniman said. “This is a commonsense law that most drivers know and obey, yet each year students are needlessly injured or tragically killed because a motorist isn’t paying attention or tries to pass a school bus. Please remember the law, take your time, and be vigilant when you approach a school bus on our roadways.”

Under Pennsylvania’s School Bus Stopping Law:

  • Motorists must stop at least 10 feet away from school buses that have their red lights flashing and stop arm extended.
  • Motorists must stop when they are behind a bus, meeting the bus or approaching an intersection where a bus is stopped.
  • Motorists following or traveling alongside a school bus must also stop until the red lights have stopped flashing, the stop arm is withdrawn, and all children have reached safety.
  • If physical barriers such as grassy medians, guide rails or concrete median barriers separate oncoming traffic from the bus, motorists in the opposing lanes may proceed without stopping.
  • Do not proceed until all the children have reached a place of safety.

The penalties for violating Pennsylvania’s School Bus Stopping Law are severe and include a 60-day license suspension, five points on your driving record and a $250 fine.

Annually more than 1,000 motorists are cited for not obeying the School Bus Stopping Law, according to PennDOT.

“There will also be more children walking to or from school or the bus stop. So, please be alert and aware of your surroundings while driving. Put down the cell phone, pay attention to other drivers and pedestrians, and be extra cautious when approaching school buses, their passengers, bus stops and school zones. Together, we can help enhance safety for everyone on our roads and highways,” he added.

Motorists are also reminded to slow down to the posted speed limit of 15 miles per hour in school zones, which become hubs of vehicle and pedestrian traffic, especially in the morning and afternoon hours.

According to PennDOT, 1.5 million children are transported on Pennsylvania roads each day, and over the course of the school year, they will be transported more than 400 million miles.

For more information on Pennsylvania’s School Bus Stopping Law and other driving and bus safety tips click here.