- West Elementary School
School Bus Safety
Information regarding the importance of school bus safety and the traffic laws enforced upon motorists.
As a district, we'd like to take a moment to inform you of the importance of school bus safety, the traffic laws enforced upon motorists, and the consequences of violating these laws. At the conclusion of this note, it is our hope that you understand how serious this is and recognize that passing a stopped school bus threatens the life of a child.
What You Need To Know As A Motorist:
The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) is a great resource for understanding the traffic laws associated with school bus safety. We encourage you to visit their website for graphics that help to illustrate the different traffic scenarios that may arise.
When traveling on a two or three lane road:
Approaching the bus from the rear: When you see flashing red or amber warning lights, you are not permitted to pass the school bus and should be prepared to stop. Stop behind the school bus when the school bus stops and the stop arm is extended. Stop no closer than 15 feet from the rear of the bus, and remain stopped until the stop arm is retracted and school bus starts moving again. Proceed with caution.
Meeting the bus from the front: When you see amber warning lights flashing you must slow your vehicle to no more than 20 mph and be prepared to stop. Stop in front of the school bus when the school bus stops and its stop arm is extended. Remain stopped until the stop arm is retracted. Proceed with caution.
Consequences for violating school bus safety laws can include license suspension and monetary fines, as well as imprisonment. With the first offense, fines range from $250-$675 and include a mandatory 30-day license suspension. As explained by the Iowa DOT, fines and suspension length increase with each additional offense.
In conclusion, we'd like to stress the importance of being cautious around school buses, not only for your safety, but also the safety of our children. When you see flashing red or amber lights on a school bus, slow down and prepare to stop. Be mindful of the children who are preparing to board or deboard that school bus. Help us to ensure that all students arrive home safely each and every day.