School buses: Red lights flashing? You should be stopping!

In Bellevue, school buses traverse the City in the mornings and afternoons picking up and dropping off children to 16 elementary schools and 5 middle schools (high schools utilize King County Metro). At any given time while driving, you may encounter a bus with red lights flashing and the stop sign or bar out signifying that children are either getting on or off the bus. On a two-lane road, everybody must stop when this happens. But what happens when traveling on a three-lane road or a road with a median?

Follow our handy graphic to learn when you should stop if you encounter a bus with red flashing lights on.

passing-school-buses

When to stop for school buses?
1. 2-lane roadway: both directions stop
2. 3+ lanes: stop if traveling same direction as bus
3. Turning lane: stop if traveling same direction as bus
4. Median: stop if traveling same direction as bus

Thinking about not stopping for a school bus when the red lights are flashing or the stop bar is out? Be prepared for a $430 fine. Traffic enforcement officials need not be on-hand to enforce the infraction; bus drivers are trained to document infractions which are admissible in a court of law.

If you’re still uncertain about when to stop, check out this video from the Washington State Patrol—it contains all the vital information (including reinforcing the $430 fine!).

Updated 11/28/16 to reflect updated fine amount.

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