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:

School Bus Laws

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School Bus Laws: Do you know when to stop?
Many drivers don't know when they have to stop for a school bus and when they can keep driving. Here are the basic school bus laws you need to know.

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Mike Rogers

Hi there! My name is Mike Rogers and I'm the owner of this website. As a certified CDL-A driving instructor and former long-haul trucker with a perfect driving record, it's safe to say driving is my passion in life. I hope you find this website to be both informative and entertaining. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me or simply post a comment on the bottom of any page of this site (I read ALL of them!). Enjoy your stay and please remember to drive safely! :)