Hearing news of any school bus accident in California is terrible, but it becomes even worse when the accident occurs because motorists do not stop for the bus when it is picking up children. These types of accidents are 100 percent preventable, but every motorist must do his or her part to ensure they do not happen. To ensure that you do not become a news story for your bad driving around a school bus, you should learn the laws and rules about interacting with school buses on the roads.
The Department of Motor Vehicles explains that it is the law that you must stop if you come upon a bus that is stopped with its red lights on. This is regardless of which direction you are traveling in. The only exception is if you are on a divided or multilane highway. If you are going in the opposite direction on such roadways, you do not have to stop. When the red lights are on, you must stop and stay stopped. Once the bus driver turns the lights off, you may proceed.
Beyond just obeying the law, there are other steps you should take when traveling around school buses. First, you need to recognize that the yellow flashing lights are an alert that the bus will be stopping. So, slow down and prepare to stop. Do not stop too close to the bus either. If you are following a bus or coming up to a known bus stop, slow your speed and be ready to stop. You also should keep an eye out for children and stop if a child is in the roadway regardless of the bus signals. Finally, never ever pass a stopped bus. This information is for education and is not legal advice.