School Buses (Click here for Canada)

United States

Alabama

Upon meeting or overtaking in either direction a school bus receiving or discharging children, or a church bus receiving or discharging passengers, driver must stop and not proceed until bus resumes movement or visual signals are no longer actuated.  Does not apply to traffic on a 4-lane divided highway moving in the opposite direction.

Alaska

Vehicles must stop for buses when loading or unloading passengers. Vehicles are not required to stop if on the opposite side of a divided highway.

School buses are to be painted “national school bus yellow.”

Arizona

Driver’s must stop when buses are stopped and displaying alternately flashing signals except when the school bus is on a different roadway or controlled access highway or stopped in a loading zone where pedestrians are not permitted to enter the roadway.

Arkansas

Vehicles must stop for school bus loading or unloading, unless on a separate roadway of a highway divided by 20-foot strip.

School buses must be painted “national school bus yellow.”

California

Vehicles must stop upon meeting, from either direction, a school bus that is stopped for loading or unloading children that displays flashing red light signals and a stop signal arm, unless the school bus is on the opposite roadway of a divided highway.

Colorado

Upon meeting or overtaking from either direction a school bus that has stopped, a motor vehicle driver must stop at least 20 feet before reaching the bus and not proceed until the visual signal lights are no longer being used.

Connecticut

Vehicles must stop for school buses loading or unloading. Vehicles from the opposite direction on a parkway or divided highway need not stop.

Delaware

When a school bus is stopped on the roadway or shoulder and is displaying flashing lamps, the driver of any vehicle approaching the school bus from the front or from the rear shall stop before passing the bus and remain stopped until such bus begins to move or no longer has the red stop lamps activated. On roadway or roadways with 4 or more lanes, the driver approaching from the front shall not stop.

District of Columbia

A driver of any vehicle shall stop the vehicle at least 15 feet from a school bus when its warning light is flashing, unless the vehicle is on the other side of a divided median.

All school buses shall be painted national school bus chrome.

Florida

Any person using, operating, or driving a vehicle on or over the roads or highways of this state shall, upon approaching any school bus that displays a stop signal bring such vehicle to a full stop while the bus is stopped, and the vehicle shall not pass the school bus until the signal has been withdrawn.

Georgia

The driver of a vehicle meeting or overtaking from either direction any school bus stopped on the highway shall stop before reaching the bus when the visual signals indicating that traffic should stop are in operation. School buses are authorized to mount video cameras on the vehicle to record violations of this law.

Hawaii

Whenever a school bus is stopped on a roadway and its visual signals are activated, the driver of every motor vehicle on the same roadway, in either direction, must stop not less than 20 feet from the school bus and may proceed only when the school bus resumes motion and the visual signals are turned off. This rule does not apply when a bus is traveling on a different or divided roadway.

Idaho

Upon meeting or overtaking a school bus in either direction, a driver must stop and not proceed until the bus resumes movement or visual signals are no longer functioning. Oncoming traffic is not required to stop on a highway of more than 3 lanes even if visual signals are functioning.

Illinois

Drivers approaching a school bus from the rear, or from the opposite direction on a 2-lane road, must stop for any school bus receiving or discharging students and may not proceed until the school bus resumes motion or the driver is signaled to proceed by the school bus driver.  Drivers need not stop if traveling from the opposite direction on a road for 4 or more lanes.

Indiana

Vehicles must stop upon meeting, from either direction, a school bus (beginning July 1, 2014, school buses are exempt) that is stopped for loading or unloading children and displays or has recently displayed a stop signal arm. This rule does not apply if the bus is on the opposite roadway of a divided highway.

Iowa

The driver of a vehicle, including the driver of a vehicle operating on a private road or driveway, when meeting a school bus with flashing amber warning lamps must slow to not more than 20 mph and not pass the bus, and must bring the vehicle to a complete stop when the school bus stops and the stop signal arm is extended. The vehicle must remain stopped until the stop signal arm is retracted after which time the driver may proceed with due caution.

The driver of a vehicle upon a highway with 2 or more lanes in each direction need not stop upon meeting a school bus which is traveling in the opposite direction even though the school bus is stopped.

Kansas

Vehicles on the far side of a divided highway need not stop.

It is unlawful to pass from either direction a school bus that is stopped with its lights flashing.

Kentucky

If any school or church bus is stopped and has a stop arm and signal lights activated, any vehicle approaching from any direction must stop and may not proceed until the bus has been put into motion. This rule does not apply when approaching a stopped bus from the opposite direction upon a highway of 4 or more lanes.

School buses, loaded or unloaded, cannot turn right on red in Kentucky or left on red where two one way streets intersect.

Louisiana

Vehicles must stop upon meeting, from either direction, a school bus that is stopped for loading or unloading children and displays or has recently displayed a stop signal arm. This rule does not apply if the bus is on the opposite roadway of a divided highway.

Missouri

The driver of a vehicle upon a highway, upon meeting or overtaking from either direction any school bus which has stopped on the highway for the purpose of receiving or discharging any school children and whose driver has given the signal to stop, shall stop the vehicle before reaching such school bus and shall not proceed until such school bus resumes motion, or until signaled by its driver to proceed.  This does not apply to vehicles approaching on a different roadway, or which is proceeding in the opposite direction on a highway containing four or more lanes of traffic, or which is stopped in a loading zone constituting a part of, or adjacent to, a limited or controlled access highway at a point where pedestrians are not permitted to cross the roadway.

Maine

Upon meeting or overtaking in either direction a school bus receiving or discharging children on a road, parking area, or on school property, a driver must stop and not proceed until the bus resumes movement or the school bus operator signals to proceed.

A driver need not stop for a school bus if traveling in a lane separated by curbing or another physical barrier from the lane that the bus is in, or on a limited access highway where pedestrians are not permitted to cross the roadway with the school bus stopped in a loading zone.

Maryland

If a school vehicle has stopped on a roadway and is operating flashing red lights, the driver of any other vehicle on the roadway shall stop at least 20 feet from the school vehicle, and may not proceed until the school vehicle either resumes motion or the red lights are deactivated.

Drivers on the opposite side of a divided highway are not required to stop.

Monitoring cameras may be placed on county school buses to record other vehicles committing violations relating to overtaking and passing school vehicles.

School buses may not be operated at a speed exceeding 50 mph.

All school buses used for the transportation of children to and from schools shall be equipped with seat back crash pads.

School vehicles shall be painted national school bus yellow.

Massachusetts

When approaching a vehicle which displays a sign bearing the words “School Bus” and which is equipped with front and rear alternating flashing red signal lamps which are flashing, and which has been stopped to allow pupils on or off of the vehicle, a person operating a motor vehicle shall, except when approaching from the opposite direction on a divided highway, bring his vehicle to a full stop before reaching said school bus and shall not proceed until the warning signals are deactivated.

Michigan

All vehicles must stop not less than 20 feet from a stopped school bus displaying alternately flashing red lights and may not proceed until the school bus has resumed motion or the visual signals are no longer actuated.

Minnesota

When a school bus is stopped on any roadway and is displaying an extended stop signal arm and flashing red lights, the driver of a vehicle approaching the bus must stop the vehicle at least 20 feet away from the bus. The driver of the vehicle must not move until the school bus stop signal arm is retracted and the red lights are no longer flashing. School bus drivers may not use cell phones while driving.

Mississippi

Upon meeting or overtaking a school bus that is stopped to receive or discharge children, the driver of a vehicle must come to a complete stop at least 10 feet from the bus; the driver and shall not proceed until the children have crossed the street and the bus has resumed motion or ceased flashing red lights.

Montana

The driver of a vehicle upon meeting or overtaking from either direction any school bus that has stopped on the highway or street to receive or discharge any children: (1) must stop not less than 10 feet before reaching the school bus when the flashing red signal is in operation; and (2) may not proceed until the children have entered the school bus or have alighted and reached the side of the highway or street and until the school bus ceases operation of the flashing red signal.

The driver of a vehicle on a highway with separate roadways need not stop upon meeting or passing a school bus that is on a different roadway or when the school bus is stopped in a loading zone that is a part of or adjacent to a controlled access highway.

Nebraska

Upon meeting or overtaking, from the front or rear, any school bus on which the yellow warning signal lights are flashing, the driver of a motor vehicle shall reduce the speed of such vehicle to not more than 25 mph, shall bring such vehicle to a complete stop when the school bus stop signal arm is extended and red signal lights are flashing, and shall remain stopped until the stop signal arm is retracted and the school bus resumes motion or until signaled by the bus driver to proceed.

Nevada

The driver of any vehicle may not overtake or pass, from either direction, a school bus that has stopped and is displaying flashing red lights. This does not apply to vehicles traveling on the opposite side of a divided highway.

A school bus shall not exceed 55 mph when carrying pupils to and from school or any school activity.

New Hampshire

The driver of a vehicle upon any road upon meeting or overtaking from either direction any school bus, which has stopped on the highway for the purpose of receiving or discharging school children, shall stop the vehicle before reaching such school bus but at least 25 feet away from such school bus. The driver shall not proceed until such school bus resumes motion, or until flashing red lights cease to operate.

New Jersey

Lap belt type seat belts or other child restraint systems must be available at each seating position on the bus, and worn properly adjusted and fastened by each passenger.

The driver of a vehicle approaching or overtaking a school bus that has stopped to receive or discharge any child on an undivided road, must stop not less than 25 feet from the bus and remain stopped until such child has entered the bus or exited and reached the side of the road and until a flashing red light is no longer exhibited by the bus.

If the driver of a vehicle is on a divided road approaching from the front a bus that has stopped to receive or discharge a child, the driver must slow his vehicle to not more than 10 mph until the vehicle has passed the bus and any child that may have disembarked from the bus.

New Mexico

A driver, upon approaching or overtaking a stopped school bus from any direction that is receiving or discharging any school children, must stop at least 10 feet before reaching the school bus and may not proceed until the special signals are turned off or the bus resumes motion.

New York

The driver of a vehicle upon meeting or overtaking from either direction any school bus which, while displaying a red visual signal, stopped to receive or discharge any passengers, or which has stopped because a school bus in front of it has stopped to receive or discharge any passengers shall stop their vehicle before reaching the school bus and not proceed until the school bus resumes motion, or until signaled by the bus driver or a police officer to proceed.

North Carolina

The driver of any vehicle approaching a school bus from any direction, when the bus is displaying its stop signal or flashing signal lights, shall stop the vehicle before passing the bus and remain stopped until the signal has been turned off.

Vehicles traveling on the opposite side of a divided highway do not need to stop.

North Dakota

School Buses: When the flashing red lights or stop sign on the control arm of a school bus are visible, the driver of a vehicle approaching the school bus from any direction must stop before reaching the school bus and may not proceed until the school bus resumes motion, is signaled by the school bus driver, or the flashing red lights and the stop sign are no longer in use.

The driver of a vehicle on a divided road does not need to stop when approaching or passing a school bus that is on a different road.

Every school bus must have plainly visible “SCHOOL BUS” signs on the front and rear in letters not less than 8 inches in height, and be equipped with a stop sign on a control arm and red visual signals to be activated by the driver whenever the vehicle is stopped to receive or discharge children.

Ohio

Upon meeting or overtaking any bus stopped for the purpose of receiving or discharging school children or people with disabilities, all drivers must stop at least 10 feet from the front or rear of the bus and may not proceed until such bus resumes motion or the driver is signaled to proceed by the school bus driver.

If driving on a 4-lane roadway, the driver need not stop if on the other roadway.

Oklahoma

The driver of a vehicle approaching a school bus from either direction must stop his vehicle whenever the bus is stopped to take on or discharge students and has its red loading signals in operation.

Drivers of vehicles on the other side of a divided highway need not stop for a school bus taking on or discharging students.

The above rules apply to vehicles approaching church buses as well.

Oregon

Color is “National School Bus Yellow.” The words “School Bus” are prominently marked on front and rear in letters not less than 8 inches high. When the school bus’ red warning lights are flashing, drivers meeting or overtaking a bus from either direction must stop before reaching the bus, and remain stopped until the flashing lights are turned off. However, on a divided highway separated by a median strip, one must stop only if on the same side of the road as the school bus.

Pennsylvania

Color, yellow.

Every school bus shall be equipped side stop signal arm, on the left side of the vehicle and with a crossing control arm on the front of the vehicle. School buses may be equipped with a bright white strobe affixed to the roof.

All vehicles must stop at least 10 feet upon meeting, from either direction, a school bus that is stopped for loading or unloading children and displays flashing lights and the stop signal arm. This rule does not apply if the bus is on the opposite roadway of a divided highway.

If convicted of violating Pennsylvania’s school bus stopping law, drivers will receive a 60-day driver’s license suspension, 5 points on their driving record and a $250 fine.

Rhode Island

Every school bus must have a stop arm that can be activated when children are being loaded or unloaded.

The driver of a vehicle upon meeting or overtaking, from any direction, a school bus that has flashing red lights in operation, must stop the vehicle before reaching the bus and may not proceed until the bus resumes motion or the flashing lights are off.

Stopping for a school bus is not required for drivers of other vehicles when: (1) when the highway is divided by a median strip separating lanes of traffic and the school bus is stopped on the opposite side of the median strip; or (2) when the bus is stopped in a loading zone adjacent to a limited access highway and pedestrians are not permitted to cross the highway.

South Carolina

The driver of a vehicle meeting or overtaking from either direction any school bus stopped on the highway must stop before reaching the bus if the bus’s flashing red lights are in operation, and the driver must not proceed until the bus resumes motion or the flashing red lights are no longer on.

The driver of a vehicle does not have to stop upon meeting a stopped school bus when the bus is in a passenger loading zone completely off the main travel lanes and when pedestrians are not allowed to cross the roadway, and on highways where the roadways are separated by an earth or raised concrete median.

The driver of a vehicle must stop upon meeting or passing a stopped school bus on any 2-lane highway, on any 4-lane or multi-lane highway where the opposing highway is separated only by painted lines on the roadway or a narrow gravel median, or when overtaking a school bus which has its red or amber signal lights on.

South Dakota

The driver of a vehicle on a 2-lane highway or private road meeting, from either direction, any school bus that is flashing amber lights must reduce the speed of the vehicle to no more than 20 mph and proceed past the bus with caution.

The driver of a vehicle on meeting, from either direction, any school bus flashing red lights must stop the vehicle at no closer than 15 feet before reaching the school bus. The driver may not proceed until the flashing red lights are no longer activated.

The driver of a motor vehicle on a highway with separate roadways does not have to stop when meeting or passing a school bus which is on a different roadway.

Tennessee

The driver of any vehicle must, upon meeting or overtaking from either direction, any school bus which has stopped on the highway for purpose of receiving or discharging any school children, must stop and may not proceed until the bus resumes motion or is signaled by the bus driver to proceed, or the school bus has deactivated its stop signals.

When driving on a highway with separate roadways for traffic in opposite directions, divided by median space or barrier not suitable for vehicular traffic, the driver need not stop but should proceed with caution.

Texas

A driver, when approaching from either direction a school bus stopped on the highway to receive or discharge a student, must stop before reaching the school bus when the bus is operating a stop signal. The driver may not proceed until the school bus resumes motion, the driver is signaled by the bus driver to proceed, or the visual signal is no longer activated.

A driver on a highway with separate roadways is not required to stop for a school bus that is on a different roadway. A driver on a controlled-access highway is not required to stop for a school bus that is in a loading zone that is a part of or adjacent to the highway and where pedestrians are not permitted to cross the roadway.

Utah

The operator of any vehicle upon a highway, upon meeting or overtaking any school bus which is displaying alternating flashing amber warning light signals, shall slow his vehicle, but may proceed past the school bus using due care and caution at a speed not greater than 20 mph.

The operator of any vehicle upon a highway, upon meeting or overtaking any school bus that is displaying alternating flashing red lights visible from the front or rear shall stop immediately before reaching the bus and may not proceed until the flashing red light signals cease operation.

The operator of a vehicle need not stop upon meeting or passing a school bus displaying alternating flashing red light signals if the school bus is traveling in the opposite direction when: traveling on a divided highway; the bus is stopped at an intersection or other place controlled by a traffic-control signal, or by a peace officer; or upon a highway of 5 or more lanes.

Vermont

Vehicles from both directions must stop when approaching a school bus when its red lights are flashing.

The driver of a vehicle need not stop on a highway with separate roadways upon meeting or overtaking a school bus which is on a different roadway, or on a controlled access highway where the school bus is stopped in a loading zone which is a part of or adjacent to the highway at a point where pedestrians are not permitted to cross the roadway.

Virginia

A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who fails to stop when, approaching from any direction (divided highways not included), any school bus which is stopped on any highway or school driveway for the purpose of taking on or discharging children, the elderly, or mentally or physically handicapped persons. Drivers must also remain stopped until all such persons are clear of the highway or school driveway and the bus is put in motion. Local school systems are authorized to install and operate video-monitoring systems on school buses in order to detect drivers passing stopped school buses. School bus drivers may not use cell phones while driving, even if they are equipped with “hands-free” technology.

Washington

Upon overtaking or meeting from either direction any school bus which has stopped on the roadway for the purpose of receiving or discharging any school children, the driver of any other vehicle must stop before reaching the school bus if the bus has its flashing red lights activated or a stop sign extended. The driver must not proceed until the school bus resumes motion or visual signals are no longer activated. School districts may install and operate automated school bus safety cameras on school buses to be used for the detection of violations of this law.

The driver of a vehicle on a divided highway or on a highway with 3 or more marked traffic lanes need not stop upon meeting a school bus that is proceeding in the opposite direction.

West Virginia

The driver of a vehicle meeting or overtaking from either direction any school bus that has stopped for the purpose of receiving or discharging school children, must stop the vehicle before reaching the school bus when the school bus is displaying flashing warning signal lights, and must not proceed until the school bus resumes motion, is signaled by the school bus driver to proceed, or the visual signals are no longer actuated. The driver of a vehicle upon a controlled access highway need not stop upon meeting or passing a school bus that is on a different roadway or adjacent to such highway and where pedestrians are not permitted to cross the roadway.

Every school bus for the transportation of school children must bear on the front and rear a plainly visible sign that contains the words “school bus” in letters not less than 8 inches in height. Every school bus must display lighted headlamps when on the highway.

Wisconsin

Vehicles approaching a school bus from the front or rear that has stopped and is displaying flashing red warning lights, must stop not less than 20 feet from the bus and must remain stopped until the bus resumes motion. This provision does not apply to operators of vehicles proceeding in the opposite direction on a divided highway.

Wyoming

The driver of a vehicle upon meeting or overtaking from either direction any stopped school bus must stop before reaching the school bus when the school bus’s flashing red lights are in operation. The driver must not proceed until the stopped bus resumes motion or the flashing red lights are no longer in operation.

Puerto Rico

In rural zone, driver must stop vehicle when facing or overtaking school bus receiving or discharging children and must not proceed until bus moves or signal is no longer displayed.

School buses must have at front and rear a visible signal that states “SCHOOL BUS” in letters not less than 8 inches in height and signal lights installed high and laterally spaced; lights must be able to emanate at a distance of 500 feet on normal sunny days.

Driver operating on public highway with separate roadway zones need not stop (1) for school bus on different roadway zone, or (2) when bus is stopped on loading or unloading zone that is part of public highway and pedestrian crossing is not allowed.


Canada

Alberta

When a school bus displaying alternating flashing amber lights is on a highway divided by a median into 2 separate highways, an operator approaching the bus from the rear must reduce the speed so if the vehicle passes the school bus it does so in a cautious manner.

The operator of a vehicle approaching a bus displaying alternating flashing red lights must, if approaching from the rear on a highway divided by a median into 2 separate highways, or from the front or rear on a highway not divided by a median into 2 separate roadways, stop the vehicle before it reaches the bus. The operator must not pass the bus until the operator of the bus indicates by signal that the vehicle may proceed or the alternating flashing red lights stop flashing.

British Columbia

Drivers must stop for school buses with flashing lights whether approaching from the front or rear. The vehicle may not proceed until the school bus moves on or the driver turns off the lights or pulls in the stop sign.

Manitoba

When a school bus is stopped on a highway and the lamp or other warning devices are displayed, the driver of a vehicle approaching the school bus from any direction must bring the vehicle to a stop at least 5 meters from the school bus; the driver must not proceed unless the bus resumes motion, or the warning signals cease to operate.

The driver of a vehicle upon a divided highway need not stop upon meeting or overtaking a school bus that is on a different roadway.

New Brunswick

The driver of a motor vehicle meeting or overtaking a stopped school bus on a highway when the bus is displaying flashing red lights must stop vehicle at not less than 5 meters from the bus and not pass until lights cease to flash. This does not apply to the driver of a motor vehicle meeting a bus on a highway divided by a median.

Newfoundland and Labrador

The driver of a vehicle meeting or overtaking, from either direction, a school bus that has stopped or is about to stop to discharge or pick up school children must stop the vehicle before reaching the bus, and must not proceed until the school bus resumes motion or the driver of the bus signals that it is okay for the vehicle to proceed.

Northwest Territories

A driver, on meeting a school bus that is headed in the same or opposite direction as the driver and has its flashing lights in use, must stop his or her vehicle before it reaches the bus and not proceed until the flashing lights are no longer in use.

Nova Scotia

The driver of a vehicle must stop the vehicle before passing a school bus that is exhibiting flashing red lights and is stopped on or near a highway. This vehicle must remain stopped until the school bus proceeds.

When a school bus is equipped with and exhibits flashing amber lights, the driver of a motor vehicle that intends to pass the school bus must proceed with caution.

Nunavut

A driver, on meeting a school bus that is headed in the same or opposite direction as the driver, and has its flashing lights in use, shall stop his or her vehicle before it reaches the bus, and not proceed until the flashing lights are no longer in use.

Ontario

Every driver, when meeting on a highway, other than a highway with a median strip, a stopped school bus that has its overhead red signal lights flashing, must stop before reaching the bus and must not proceed until the bus moves or the overhead red signal lights have stopped flashing.

Every driver, when approaching from the rear a stopped school bus that has its overhead red signal lights flashing, must stop at least 20 meters before reaching the bus and must not proceed until the bus moves or the overhead red signal-lights have stopped flashing.

Prince Edward Island

The driver of a vehicle meeting or overtaking a school bus on a highway when the flashing red lights are displayed must bring the vehicle to a stop at least 6 meters from the school bus, and must not pass the school bus until the flashing red lights are no longer displayed.

The driver of a vehicle meeting or overtaking a school bus on a highway when the flashing amber lights are displayed on the school bus must reduce speed and proceed with caution, and may only pass the school bus with caution.

Quebec

The driver of a road vehicle who is approaching a school bus with flashing lights turned on or whose compulsory stop signal has been activated, must stop his or her vehicle more than 5 meters from the bus and must not proceed in either direction until the flashing lights are turned off and the compulsory stop signal has been retracted, and he or she ascertains that he or she can do so in safety. A driver is not required to stop upon meeting a school bus on an adjacent roadway separated by a median strip or any other raised physical separation.

Saskatchewan

The driver of a vehicle proceeding in the same direction on a highway as a school bus that has its safety lights in operation must not pass the school bus.

The driver of a vehicle proceeding in the same direction on a highway as a school bus that is stopped and that has its safety lights and stop arm in operation must stop at least 5 meters from the rear of the school bus. The vehicle must not proceed until the operation of the safety lights and stop arm has been discontinued.

When a school bus is stopped and has its safety lights and stop arm in operation, the driver of a vehicle that is approaching the school bus from the opposite direction on a highway, other than a divided highway, must stop at least 5 meters from the front of the school bus and must not proceed until the operation of the safety lights and stop arm has been discontinued.

Yukon

When a school bus has stopped on a highway to receive or discharge passengers or while the vehicle is displaying alternately flashing red lights, a driver approaching the school bus from the rear, if the highway is physically divided by a median strip into 2 separate roadways, or from either direction, if the highway is not so divided, must stop before reaching the school bus. The person may not proceed to pass the school bus (1) until the school bus resumes motion, (2) until the driver of the school bus indicates by a signal that he may proceed, or (3) where the school bus is displaying alternately flashing red lights, until the lights stop flashing.