Pennsylvania’s School Bus and Zone Safety Laws
It is crucial for all Pennsylvania drivers to be aware of stopped School Buses, children walking to and from school, and driving through active school zones. An inattentive or speeding driver may cause a tragic and grave accident in such a situation.
Pennsylvania has two specific laws regulating the actions of drivers near Stopped School Buses and Active School Zones.
Stopped School Buses
Pennsylvania law 75 §3345 regulates driving near a stopped school bus and the penalties if violated. When you meet or overtake a School Bus/Van or approach an intersection with a School Bus/Van that has its Red Signals Flashing and Stop Arm Extended, you must:
- Immediately STOP at least 10 feet away from the school bus;
- You MUST STOP regardless of whether you are behind the bus, approaching an intersection with a stopped bus, or approaching a bus from the opposite direction
- WAIT until the red lights have stopped flashing and the stop arm is withdrawn; and
- NOT MOVE until all children have reached a place of safety out of the roadway
If you violate Pennsylvania’s School Bus Stopping Law, you face:
- A 60-day driver’s license suspension;
- 5 points on your driving record and the additional punishments triggered by the 5 points; and
- $250.00 fine
A law enforcement officer does not have to witness you violating this law. School bus drivers may submit a written and signed report of the violation with your car’s license plate, color and make, time and location of the violation, and any other identifying characteristics of your vehicle. Once the report is properly submitted to law enforcement, a traffic ticket may then be issued to you.
School Zone Speed Limit
Pennsylvania law 75 §3365 regulates the actions of drivers in an active school zone. An active school zone means an area of roadway in which there are official traffic control devices indicating the beginning and end of the zone that either inform the driver of the hours of operation and/or use blinking lights to indicate when the zone is in effect.
In Pennsylvania School Zones, you are prohibited from traveling at a rate of speed over 15mph. If you violate the speed limit, you face:
- Up to a $500 fine;
- 3 points on your driving record; and
- If a second offense, a 60-day license suspension
School Bus and Zone laws are in place for the safety and welfare of children’s lives, not to delay you in getting where you need to be. School zones are usually short distances and school buses stop for less than a minute. Therefore, BE PATIENT and understanding of the need for the rules. Violating the laws may cost you your license and payment of significant fines, or worse, lead to you harming or killing a child.
Please Drive Safely!