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Can You Pass a School Bus When It’s Stopped?


No, state law prohibits passenger vehicles from passing a school bus anytime that it’s come to a complete stop. The law also states that each vehicle must stop outside of 10 feet from the front or rear of the bus. This means, if you’re passing a bus on the left lane, you’ll need to stop in time to give children enough space to safely pass in front of you. Fortunately, all school buses in Ohio are required to drop off students on the side of the road in which they live, minimizing they likelihood that they’ll cross the road.   

But what about stopping for buses on roadways with multiple lanes? Yes, there are exceptions. In Ohio, when traveling on a road with four or more lanes, passenger cars are allowed to pass a bus if it’s stopped on the other side of the road. It should be noted that if a school bus is stopped in front of you, coming to a complete stop is always your safest bet. In most cases, if you don’t have to be stopped, the driver will wave for you to go around.

What’s the Penalty for not Stopping?

Ohio law states that if a person fails to stop by a school bus, they could be subjected to a $500 fine. The driver could also have their license suspended for up to one year.

Other penalties for not stopping for a school bus could result from injuring a passenger that has exited the bus. This could come in the form of paying for medical bills, rehabilitation needs or even lost wages.

Failing to stop for a school bus dropping off passengers has serious penalties in Ohio. If you’ve been accused of this traffic offense, it’s important to have an experienced lawyer on your side. At Bridges, Jillisky, Weller & Gullifer, LLC, our team is here to advocate for you. To get started on your case, contact us today!

Does a School Bus Have to Display its Equipment?

Yes, the following is a required four-step protocol for all licensed school bus drivers in Ohio:

  1. Activate four amber warning lights when approaching a stop
  2. Let lights continue to flash until the bus is at a complete stop
  3. Once at a complete stop, turn off amber lights, and activate four red lights
  4. Additionally, flashing stop signs will extend from the bus to indicate children are exiting/entering

If a bus driver failed to follow any of the above steps you could argue against your traffic offense. It should also be noted that vehicles are not required to come to a complete stop until the warning lights are turned off. Much like a yellow light, it’s a way of giving nearby drivers an indication that a complete stop will soon be required.

Do Ohio School Buses Have Cameras?

Yes, some school buses have installed cameras on the stop signs that extend from the body of the vehicle. These cameras can be used for a few reasons:

  • Child safety – A camera located here could provide local law enforcement with evidence regarding a student being abducted or kidnapped by an adult.
  • Collision evidence – These cameras could provide evidence against a collision that happens to the bus while it’s stopped to left off passengers.
  • Driver safety – If a driver is impatient and passes a bus while it’s stopped, cameras could catch the license plate of the vehicle and authorities could fine the driver later.

Traffic Violation Legal Counsel

We understand that sometimes there are viable reasons for certain traffic offenses. To protect your rights and minimize penalties, it’s important to hire an Ohio traffic lawyer that understands.

For a free consultation, call us today: (937) 403-9033!