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Posted on: November 1, 2019

When to Stop for a School Bus in Ohio

School bus Safety

Although school has been in session for several months, it is never too late to review current school bus laws regarding when to stop for a school bus (carrying school children, or persons attending mental health or developmental disabilities programs, or children attending a head start program) on Ohio roadways.  First, "Watch the Lights” – when preparing to stop the bus, the driver will activate four amber (yellow) lights on the top of the bus (front and back) approximately 100 to 300 feet before stopping, to warn approaching and following vehicles that the bus is about to stop. Drivers must slow their vehicles to 20 mph or less when amber lights are seen. When the bus stops, red lights on the top of the bus will flash and a stop arm with flashing red lights will extend from the left side of the bus.  

The second rule to remember is “When to Stop” for a school bus, depending on the type of roadway you are traveling, as illustrated in the following diagram.


Remember - it is illegal to pass a school bus from behind when amber or red lights are flashing, as well as passing a stopped school bus with red lights flashing from either direction. The school bus driver is required to wait until passengers are safely away from the bus on the side of the road before proceeding. In Ohio, if school bus drivers believe a motorist has unlawfully passed a stopped bus, they will, if possible, report the license plate number to their local law enforcement agency.   

 And finally, be aware of school zone flashing signals and always obey posted speed limits. Speeding in a school zone is punishable with fines beginning at $155.00 for the first offense.

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