Stopping for a School Bus

During school days drivers will encounter school buses which have a stop sign and flashing lights to indicate that the bus is preparing to open its doors for passengers.  As a general rule, if your car is behind the bus, you are required to stop and wait; do not pass the bus.  This rule also applies on a two-lane road even when your car is traveling in the opposite direction from the bus.  The reason is that children may unexpectedly go into the roadway.

The Washington State Department of Licensing driver’s guide (page 3-23) says:

You must stop for a school bus that is stopped with its red lights flashing whether it is on your side of the road, the opposite side of the road or at an intersection you are approaching.

You are not required to stop for a school bus with red lights flashing when the stopped school bus is traveling in the opposite direction and the roadway:

– has three or more marked traffic lanes,

– is separated by a median, or

– is separated by a physical barrier.

After the school bus red lights have stopped flashing, watch for children along the side of the road and do not proceed until they have completely left the roadway.

• You must yield to any transit vehicle (bus) that has signaled and is pulling back onto the roadway.

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