National School Bus Safety Week begins Monday (Oct. 21).
And, with recent reports indicating that more local drivers are ignoring the state’s school bus stopping laws, officials are reminding motorists that convictions on violations of the law can bring with them penalties of 60-day drivers license suspensions, fines of 250 dollars and five points on driving records.
Local officials say law enforcement personnel will ride some school buses during Safety Week, and will hand out citations to violators. Police will especially be looking for motorists who refuse to yield for stopped buses, or pass them when the law does not allow it.
Pennsylvania law says a driver must stop when he or she meets or approaches a school bus, or arrives at an intersection where a school bus is stopping with its red lights flashing and its “stop arm” extended. The stop must be made at least ten feet from the bus, and the driver may not resume until the red lights have stopped flashing and the “stop arm” has been withdrawn.
The law includes a requirement that a motorist must stop, even on a four-lane highway, unless the road has a physical divider between his or her vehicle and the school bus.