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School Bus Laws: When to stop and when not to!

School Bus Laws

Many drivers are confused about the exact school bus laws and proper right of way rules. In fact, it is estimated that over 50,000 motorists illegally pass busses every single day. To make matters even worse, different states have different laws and the laws can be pretty confusing.

School Bus Right Of Way Rules For Non-Divided Highways

In almost all states, it is law to stop for a stopped child carrying bus whether you are approaching or are behind the bus on a non-divided roadway. An exception to this rule is Washington State where you may pass a stopped bus as long as the roadway is 3 lanes or more and you are in an opposing lane. The same holds true in Ohio when a roadway has 4 lanes or more. But in every other state, as long as you are on a non-divided roadway, you must stop for a bus unloading school children.


School Bus Right Of Way Rules For Divided Highways

On a divided highway, you do not have to stop for a stopped school bus, even if the lights are flashing, as long as you are in the opposing traffic lanes. This is true for all states except:

  • West Virginia
  • Arkansas - When the divider is less than 20ft wide
  • Mississippi
  • New York State

Check out these images below to help you better understand proper school bus right of way procedures:


Laws For Passing A School Bus

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