Sadie Says …

Answers to frequently asked questions about safe driving

Q.: “I know that drivers are supposed to stop for a school bus, but I’m not sure of the details. Can you elaborate?”

A: Passing a stopped school bus when children are loading or unloading is both dangerous and illegal.

Be “in the know” about Pennsylvania’s School Bus Stopping Law.


• For a stopped school bus with red lights flashing and stop arm extended and stop at least 10 feet from the school bus.

• If the school bus is stopped to load or unload students at an intersection, whether or not the intersection is marked with a stop sign. All traffic must stop.

• On roadways with painted lines or with rigid or grooved dividers. You must wait until the red lights have stopped flashing and the stop arm has been withdrawn before you can drive. Do not move until all children have reached a safe place.

You DO NOT have to STOP

• On a highway with clearly defined dividing sections or physical barriers, but only if the school bus is stopped on the opposite side of the road. Divided sections include trees or shrubs, rocks or boulders, a stream or grass. Physical barriers include concrete median barriers, metal median barriers and guide rails.

Penalties for violating Pennsylvania’s School Bus Stopping Law are:

• 60 day driver license suspension

• 5 points on your driving record

• A $250 fine

Sadie Says … is brought to you by the Lycoming County Health Improvement Coalition’s Safe Communities Task Force, whose members include AAA North Penn, AARP, Area Agency on Aging and regional transportation and highway safety advocates.


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