CONEWANGO TOWNSHIP, Pa. – The Conewango Township Police Department and PennDOT are urging drivers to follow the laws requiring motorists to stop for school buses when the flashing red lights are engaged.
School bus safety is a high priority in Pennsylvania. Students, parents, teachers, administrators, transportation personnel, and the motoring public all play essential roles in keeping our children safe while on or around the school bus.
“During this school year, we have witnessed and heard of an increased number of motorists failing to obey the laws pertaining to school buses, particularly along Route 6,” said Conewango Police Chief Jason Peters. “Drivers are required to stop for school buses whenever their red lights are flashing and the stop arm is extended. This includes multi-lane roadways like Route 6 that do not have a median or barrier.”
PennDOT reminds motorists of the following regulations pertaining to school buses:
- Motorists must stop at least 10 feet away from school buses that have their red lights flashing and stop arm extended.
- Motorists must stop when they are behind a bus, meeting the bus, or approaching an intersection where a bus is stopped.
- Motorists following or traveling alongside a school bus must also stop until the red lights have stopped flashing, the stop arm is withdrawn, and all children have reached safety.
- If physical barriers such as grassy medians, guide rails, or concrete median barriers separate oncoming traffic from the bus, motorists in the opposing lanes may proceed without stopping.
“We want the students to make it safely to school and back home every day. That requires all drivers to follow the rules and never assume students will not be crossing the street in front of them,” Peters said. “That also means all drivers in all lanes of Route 6 must stop when they encounter a school bus, whether they are in the passing lane or traveling in the oncoming direction.”
The penalties if convicted of violating Pennsylvania’s School Bus Stopping Law can include a $250 fine, five points on the motorist’s driving record, and a 60-day license suspension.
For additional information on school bus safety, visit PennDOT’s website www.penndot.gov/safety.