Stay safe & be aware of school bus laws

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 25, 2019

LAPLACE — With the 2019-2020 school year well underway in St. John the Baptist Parish, it’s important to review school bus protocol on the roadway.

Motorists must stop at least 30 feet from a stopped school bus that is loading or unloading children, according to the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development.

  • For a two-lane road, this road applies to vehicles traveling in each direction when the red school bus lights are flashing.
  • On a three-lane road with a center turning lane separating one travel lane on each side, vehicles traveling in both directions are required to stop. The same rule applies or a four-lane road.
  • When there is a divided highway with a grassy median, ditch, elevated concrete barrier or any other physical barrier that prevents traffic from driving thereon, only traffic moving in the same direction as the bus is required to stop. Oncoming traffic should proceed with caution.
  • On a divided highway with a center turning lane and two travel lanes on each side, only traffic moving in the same direction is required to stop, and oncoming traffic should proceed with caution.

This is a graphic guide put out by the Louisiana State Police and the Department of Transportation and Development that shows situations when stopping for busses is required.

Once a motorist has stopped, he or she cannot proceed until the bus moves again or the visual warning signs are no longer in use. It is never acceptable to pass a stopped school bus from behind, or from either direction on an undivided road, as it is loading or unloading children.

Motorists should allow greater following distance behind school buses and stay alert, as children can be unpredictable.