Each day, approximately 1.5 million kids are transported on school buses in Pennsylvania, according the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Sadly, many children are injured, and 149 kids are killed each year in bus-related accidents, reports the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Of these, 14 youth pedestrians are killed as a result of these accidents, some of which occur because drivers fail to follow the rules of the road.
5 Pennsylvania School Bus Stopping Laws
The Pennsylvania DMV specifies five rules that all drivers are expected to adhere to around school buses.
- Vehicles must stop when they encounter a stopped school bus with its lights flashing and stop arm out.
- When you approach an intersection, and there is a school bus there with its flashing lights on and stop arm extended, you must stop.
- Always stop 10 feet away from a bus when it is evident that you need to stop.
- When stopped by a bus, you have to wait until the red lights have stopped flashing, and the stop arm withdraws before resuming driving.
- Don’t begin driving until you see the children exit the bus and clear the road. If you cannot see them, then wait until the bus leaves.
“Drivers may proceed on a highway with clearly defined dividing sections or physical barriers providing separate roadways. This only applies when the school bus is on the opposite side of the road. If in doubt, STOP,” the DMV explains.
To learn about more school bus news, laws, and rules, follow our school bus accidents blog.
Consequences for Breaking the Rules
The DMV estimates that at least 1,000 people each year disobey the state’s school bus stopping laws. If a driver is caught and convicted of disobeying one the above rules, the possible penalties include the following.
- A 60-day driver’s license suspension
- Five points on his or her driving record
- A $250 fine
If the driver causes injury or death to a child because of a failure to obey school bus stopping rules, additional charges and penalties may ensue. Furthermore, if a driver breaks the rules and is found negligent after an accident, the victim’s family can file a civil lawsuit against the driver. Negligent drivers can (and should) be held legally responsible for all the damages they cause.
Speaking to a School Bus Accident Attorney in Pennsylvania
If your child has sustained injury in a school bus-related accident, we encourage you to call our team of injury and wrongful death attorneys in Pennsylvania at Cordisco & Saile LLC. You may be able to pursue a large settlement for your loss. Call us today at 215-642-2335 for a free legal consultation.