Drivers’ safety tips

Vermont motor vehicle laws about schools and school buses

School zones

Be particularly alert at all times for children and pedestrians in a school zone. Also watch for school buses which may be arriving and departing.

Signs or flashing lights warn you that you are approaching a school or school crossing. Many school zones have lower speed limits, and the speed limit signs will have the words “when flashing” when children are present to let you know when the speed limit is in effect.

Note that regular school hours are not the only time children are present at schools. After-school and weekend activities often take place at schools.

School bus stops

It is against the law to pass a school bus which has stopped and has its red warning lights on. Never pass from any direction when the red lights are on.

When a school bus is on the highway and is about to pick up or discharge students, the school bus driver activates the alternately flashing yellow lights and begins slowing down. You should be preparing to stop.

After the bus has stopped, the driver will activate the alternately flashing red warning lights. Once the red warning lights have been activated you must stop your vehicle.

Remember, even in a school yard, you must not pass a stopped school bus with its alternately flashing red warning lights activated.

There are a few exceptions where a stop is not necessary.

• You do not have to stop on a divided highway if the school bus is traveling in the opposite direction.

• A concrete barrier may be used to separate traffic from the bus, and you are not required to stop.

In Vermont, if you are found guilty of passing a stopped school bus with its warning lights on, you will be subject to a substantial fine and five points on your driver license. -From Vermont Driver's Manual 2015, Vermont Agency of Transporatation

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