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Required stopping for school buses


Scenario 1: You are traveling on a two- or three-lane road
  • Approaching the bus from the rear: When you see flashing red or amber warning lights, you are not permitted to pass the school bus and should be prepared to stop. Stop behind the school bus when the school bus stops and the stop arm is extended. Stop no closer than 15 feet from the rear of the bus, and remain stopped until the stop arm is retracted and school bus starts moving again. Proceed with caution.

  • Meeting the bus from the front: When you see amber warning lights flashing you must slow your vehicle to no more than 20 mph and be prepared to stop. Stop in front of the school bus when the school bus stops and its stop arm is extended. Remain stopped until the stop arm is retracted. Proceed with caution.
Two and three lane



Scenario 2: You are traveling on a road with two or more lanes in each direction
  • Approaching the bus from the rear: When approaching from the rear, the rules are the same as for a two- or three- lane road. When you see flashing red or amber warning lights, you are not permitted to pass the school bus and should be prepared to stop. Stop behind the school bus when the school bus stops and its stop arm is extended. Stop no closer than 15 feet from the rear of the bus, and remain stopped until the stop arm is retracted and school bus starts moving again. Proceed with caution.

  • Meeting the bus from the front: When meeting the bus in one of the opposite two lanes (or more), you do not need to stop, even if the bus has stopped with lights flashing and stop arm out. The bus is not permitted to load or unload children who must cross this type of roadway, unless there are official traffic control devices or law enforcement present. This is the only time you may pass a school bus that is stopped and has its stop arm extended.
Four-lane highway