School Bus Safety
School bus safety is a high priority in Pennsylvania. Students, parents, teachers, administrators, transportation personnel and the motoring public all play important roles in keeping our children safe while on or around the school bus.
Pennsylvania’s School Bus Stopping Law
- Motorists must stop at least 10 feet away from school buses that have their red lights flashing and stop arm extended.
- Motorists must stop when they are behind a bus, meeting the bus or approaching an intersection where a bus is stopped.
- Motorists following or traveling alongside a school bus must also stop until the red lights have stopped flashing, the stop arm is withdrawn, and all children have reached safety.
- If physical barriers such as grassy medians, guide rails or concrete median barriers separate oncoming traffic from the bus, motorists in the opposing lanes may proceed without stopping.
- Do not proceed until all the children have reached a place of safety.
The penalties if convicted of violating Pennsylvania’s School Bus Stopping Law include:
- $250 fine
- Five points on your driving record
- 60-day license suspension
For more information, review Pennsylvania’s School Bus Stopping Law Fact Sheet.
When to stop for school buses
Check out this graphic that helps illustrate Pennsylvania’s school bus stopping law.
Tips for Parents/Students
- Get to the school bus stop five minutes early so you won’t have to run across the road to catch the bus.
- When waiting for the bus, stay away from traffic. Line up at least five giant steps away from the curb or the roadway to wait for the bus.
- Never run after the school bus if it has already left the bus stop.
- Never push when getting on or off of the school bus.
- Always walk at least 10 feet in front of the bus when crossing so that the school bus driver can see you.
- Be aware — cross with care! Wait until the school bus has stopped all traffic before stepping out onto the road.
- When the school bus is moving, always stay in your seat. Never put your head, arms or hands out of the window.
- Talk quietly; do not distract your school bus driver.
- If your school bus crosses railroad tracks, be calm and quiet so that your driver can listen for a train. Always obey your school bus driver’s instructions, so that he or she can make safe decisions.
- Never play with the emergency exits. Backpacks, band instruments, or sports equipment may not block the aisle or emergency exits. If there is an emergency, listen to the driver and follow instructions.
- When getting off of the school bus, make sure that all drawstrings and other loose objects are secure so that they don’t get caught on the handrail or the door.
- Never cross the street behind the school bus.
- Never speak to strangers at the bus stop and never get into the car with a stranger.