When do you have to stop for a school bus?

You can help reduce child pedestrian injuries and school bus accidents by knowing when to stop for a school bus in Virginia. Allen & Allen attorney and partner Jason W. Konvicka explains the law in this short video:

When to Stop for a School Bus

If you are on a two-lane road with no median and you encounter a stopped school bus, everyone is required to stop, regardless of whether you’re approaching the bus from the front or the rear. Drivers are also required to stop whenever the bus is loading or unloading passengers, even if the lights and stop arm are not activated.

traffic infographic with school bus

So, when do you not have to stop for a stopped school bus? The law is only different when approaching a stopped school bus from the opposite direction and a median or physical barrier is present. Drivers going in the opposite direction are not required to stop in this case only. However, drivers should be prepared for students exiting the school bus and crossing the median or barrier into their lanes.

When to stop for a school bus - infographic

Failure to stop for a school bus can result in a charge of reckless driving, which carries a fine of up to $2,500.00 and/or up to twelve months in jail. More importantly, passing a stopped school bus is extremely dangerous for the children departing from or getting onto the bus.

It’s important to remember that some of the most serious injuries to students riding the bus to and from school occur, not when the bus is moving, but when students are loading and off-loading. Please help us keep our children safe as they begin another school year by following these laws.