Each school year yellow buses wind their way through Iowa’s cities, towns and rural areas. It’s critical for Iowa’s drivers to be extra cautious in watching students heading to and from the buses.
Beginning in the 2012-2013 school year, there is a bigger sting for those who don’t follow Iowa’s laws. Penalties have been increased for vehicles that pass a stopped school bus which has its flashers on and its stop arm extended.
Iowa School Bus Safety
The Iowa departments of Transportation, Public Safety and Education, and University of Iowa-National Advanced Driving Simulator and Iowa State University-Center for Transportation Research and Education have teamed up to provide more information to the public on school bus safety.
Here are some reminders for drivers:
- When the bus’s yellow flashers turn on, that signifies that it is preparing to have child get on or off the bus. All vehicles behind the bus must come to a complete stop.
- If you are approaching a bus from the opposite direction, slow your speed to 20 mph when the bus turns on its yellow flashers.
- On a two-lane road, traffic in both directions must come to a full stop when the lights are flashing red.
- On a four-lane road, traffic moving in the opposite direction must slow down and proceed with caution when either red or yellow flashers are present.
- Stop your vehicle at least 15 feet from the bus.
- Remain stopped until the flashing lights are turned off and the stop arm is pulled back in.
- Failure to comply could result in a fine of $250 plus court costs.
Here are reminders for students:
- Stop and look both ways before crossing a street.
- Make sure you’re bus driver can see you when you are crossing in front of the bus. If you can see the driver, the driver cannot see you.
- Never cross behind the bus.
- When getting on or off the bus, never cross the street until the bus driver signals it’s OK to cross.
- If you drop something near the bus, do not pick it up. Instead, tell the bus driver what you dropped, and let the driver instruct you on what to do.