Stop! School Bus Laws Explained


School kicks off this week, and we all could use a refresher when it comes to the laws about stopping for a school bus.

School bus traffic laws are in effect for the safety of children or other passengers entering or leaving a school bus.

Students often will be crossing the street at the bus stop, so these laws are extremely important for their safety.

In Ohio, school bus traffic laws vary depending on the size of the road:

Two-Lane Roads:

  • All traffic must stop for a school bus no matter which direction it’s traveling
  • Traffic must stop at least 10 feet away from the school bus, whether coming from its front or rear

Highways with Four or More Lanes:

  • Only traffic moving in the same direction as the bus must stop when the school bus stops to release passengers
  • Traffic coming from the opposite direction doesn’t have to stop in these instances.
  • Children are dropped off on the same side of the road as their residences, so they won’t have to cross the street

Divided Highways:

  • Divided highways are treated the same as those with four or more lanes
  • Oncoming traffic doesn’t have to stop regardless of how many lanes of traffic there are, but traffic moving in the same direction still has to stop
  • Traffic must stop no less than 10 feet away from the school bus

Waiting for a Stopped School Bus:

  • The wait for a stopped school bus may seem to take a while in some cases
  • The bus driver must wait to resume its travels until all exiting passengers are a safe distance away from the bus

School Bus Safety Requirements for Traffic:

  • A school bus doesn’t have to be equipped with an extending stop safety sign in order for traffic to stop
  • When lights are flashing, this is sufficient to signal drivers that they need to stop, as the bus is loading or unloading passengers
  • Amber and red visual signals are required for a school bus

Violation of School Bus Traffic Laws:

  • Those who violate school bus traffic stop laws may receive a $500 fine and could have their driver’s license suspended

Please be mindful as school gets back into the swing of things, and busses are back on the road.