Save a life, respect the highway code around school buses: Police

As students parade on school buses for the new school year, police remind motorists to protect children by following bus safety laws.

In 2020, York County law enforcement arrested 23 people for speeding in a school zone and cited 36 others for illegally passing a stopped school bus, according to data from the Courts Administration Office of Pennsylvania (AOPC).

According to APOC, school-related traffic violations fell sharply between 2019 and the pandemic year of 2020, when citations fell by 62%.

This graph lists statistics on school bus violations in Pennsylvania between 2016 and 2020.

Still, local law enforcement says violations are frequent and have issued a warning to motorists.

“We have had a lot of reports in previous years of people passing buses with their red lights on,” the Carroll Township Police Department said in a written statement. “When that happens, we follow up and sometimes quote the driver. “

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The Fairview Township Police Department, in a written statement, said it takes school bus violations “very seriously and will enforce this law aggressively.”

“This involves the safety of our children,” the statement said.

Pennsylvania law prohibits drivers from passing a stopped school bus with flashing red lights and an extended “stop” sign. This applies to drivers behind a bus as well as to those coming from the opposite direction. If a bus is stopped at an intersection, all drivers at the intersection must also remain stopped until the bus departs.

These PennDOT charts depict situations involving stopped school buses to show when motorists should stop and when they can continue driving.
Submitted / PennDOT

The only time drivers do not need to stop for a stopped bus is on a roadway with a clearly defined barrier, such as a concrete or grass median. Drivers traveling in the same direction as the bus must stop, but those traveling in the opposite direction on the divided highway may continue.

Under state law, someone passing a stopped school bus can be fined up to $ 250, get a 60-day driver’s license suspension, and get five points on their license.

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