Safety Focus of the Week: School Buses
School has already started in many districts and school buses are on the road. It is important to be watching for the buses, the children discharged from the bus, and the children walking home before and after school.
The laws for stopping when a bus has its red-lights flashing are generally straight forward but get confusing in situations with a divided roadway, and are sometimes different than in other states.
In all states, stopping for the school bus is required on an open undivided roadway, usually no closer than 25 feet. Even on a 4-lane or larger roadway, stopping is mandatory for all motorists. The difference occurs with a divided roadway. Take Shelburne Road in South Burlington for example where there is a curbed median. So if the motorist is riding southbound and comes across a northbound school bus stopped with flashers, the motorist is not required to stop. IN VERMONT.
However, not all of our neighboring states are the same on this matter:
NY: Always stop even on a divided highway
NH: Stopping is required except on a divided highway
MA: Stopping is required except on a divided highway
CT: Similar to Vermont
And of course, if in doubt or if children appear to be crossing towards you – then stop.