School Bus Stopping Law

  • When you meet or overtake a stopped school bus with red signal lights flashing and stop arm extended, you MUST STOP.
  • When you approach an intersection where a school bus is stopped with red signal lights flashing and stop arm extended, you MUST STOP.
  • You MUST STOP at least ten (10) feet away from the school bus.
  • You MUST WAIT until the red lights have stopped flashing and the stop arm has been withdrawn before moving.
  • DO NOT MOVE until all the children have reached a place of safety.
  • If you are convicted of violating Pennsylvania’s School Bus Stopping Law, you will receive all of the following penalties: 60-Day Driver’s License Suspension; Five (5) points on your driving record; and $250 Fine.
    • Annually, more than 700 drivers are convicted for passing a stopped school bus with its red lights flashing.
  • If in Doubt, STOP!
  • School Bus Speed Cameras: Act 159 of 2019 permits side stop signal arm speed enforcement systems (SASES) for failure to stop for a school bus with flashing red lights, creates a surcharge for illegally passing a school bus, and establishes the School Bus Safety Grant Program Account. The stop arm cameras start recording once the side stop signal arm and red signal light is deployed. The recording captures violations and, after review by law enforcement, citations for violations can be issued.

When to stop for school buses: On two-lane roadways, four-lane roadways without a median separation, two-lane roadways with a center turning lane, and roadways with four lanes or more with a center turning lane, when a school bus stops for passengers, all traffic from both directions must stop.

Separate roadways: Drivers may proceed on a highway with clearly defined dividing sections or physical barriers providing separate roadways. This only applies when the school bus is on the opposite side of the road. Clearly defined dividing sections include trees or shrubs, rocks or boulders, a stream, grass, etc. Physical barriers include concrete median barriers, metal median barriers, guide rails, etc.

Pennsylvania's School Bus Stopping Law Fact Sheet:

Animated graphic demonstrating when traffic must stop: