Posted by: Kisling, Nestico & Redick, LLC
When you took driver’s education, you learned the proper vehicle-driving laws regarding school buses in Ohio. But how long ago was that? Have school bus laws changed since then, and if so, do you know the latest school bus laws in Ohio?
For example, school buses haven’t always used the amber warning lights you see before the red flashing lights. Amber lights were adopted by a number of states in the mid-1970s, and within a few years were universally adopted across the United States.
They act similar to yellow lights. About 100 to 300 feet before stopping, amber lights are activated to signal passing vehicles to prepare to stop, because the school bus is about to stop and unload/load students.
Here’s a list of the latest school bus laws in Ohio:
- The driver of any vehicle approaching a school bus in any direction must stop at least ten feet from the front or rear of the school bus. They cannot proceed until the school bus resumes motion or the school bus driver motions for the automobile driver to proceed.
- All school buses are equipped with amber and red visual signals meeting the requirements of section 4511.771 of the Revised Code. These can be activated by the bus driver only when the bus is stopped or stopping on the roadway for the purpose of loading/unloading school children, persons attending mental health or developmental disabilities programs, or children attending programs by head start agencies.
- When a highway has four or more lanes, a driver of a vehicle approaching from the opposite direction of the school bus does not need to stop. However, drivers of vehicles driving in the same direction as the school bus must stop.
- Regarding divided highways or highways with four or more lanes, school bus drivers are required to unload/load passengers on the residence’s side of the highway.
- The school bus driver is required to wait until the passengers have reached a safe destination on the side of the road before driving away.
School bus laws in Ohio are serious. Any driver who fails to follow the laws listed above can be fined an amount up to $500 and receive a one-year license suspension.
And new legislation introduced at the Ohio Statehouse in early 2019 could increase those fines – nearly doubling them – for vehicles who illegally pass a school bus.
Make sure to always follow safe driving habits, especially around school buses. Practice caution and patience when you see a school bus stopping or stopped. Study the latest school bus laws in Ohio so you’re prepared the next time you’re face to face with a stopping or stopped school bus.
Involved in a serious car accident? With the help of a good Ohio car accident lawyer, you may be able to obtain compensation for your losses caused by another driver’s negligence. Call us at 1-800-HURT-NOW or use the contact form to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case and to learn what KNR can do for you.