Stopping for a School Bus

Stopping for a School Bus


What’s big, yellow and comes with pretty flashing lights and retractable arms?   One point if you said a school bus!  We all know what they are and that we are supposed to stop for them.  It’s how we are supposed to stop that gets a bit muddled.

When you approach a school bus that is stopped with its upper lights flashing you must STOP no matter which direction you are travelling.  If you are facing the school bus, stop at distance that is safe for the children to get off the bus and cross the road.  If you are behind the bus, a distance of 20 metres is required.   Do no start driving again until the bus is moving OR the lights have stopped flashing.

When travelling on an undivided Road/Highway traffic in both directions is required to stop.  An undivided road/highway will have one, two or even more lanes without a central median strip.

While on a divided road/highway only the vehicles coming up behind the school bus must stop. Traffic travelling on other side of the median my continue driving by the bus.

A median strip is a physical barrier such as a lowered or raised section of earth, grass or paved construction that separates the two opposing directions of traffic.

In addition to the alternating flashing lights, school buses have a swing out stop sign arm that is also equipped with flashing red lights.  Remain stopped until the arm folds away and lights stop flashing.

  • Obey the school bus laws on any road, no matter how many lanes or the speed the limit.
  • Be prepared to stop for a school bus at any time. Not just during school hours.
  • Do not block loading zones.  Leave enough space for children to exit/enter the bus safely.
  • School buses are required to stop at railway crossings. They will not use their flashing lights. Be alert

NOTE:  It is against the law to pass a school bus that has its red lights flashing.  Failure to stop carries fines ranging from $400-$2000 AND the loss of 6 demerit points on your first offense.  A second offense carries larger fines (up to $4000), 6 more demerit points and jail time for up to 6 months.