Area police departments remind drivers to stop for school buses

COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va. (WRIC) — Come next week school bus doors will swing wide open, allowing students to board for the upcoming school year.

“We always focus on back to school safety and we always want to remind people, especially if they don’t have children to remind them that school does go back in on Tuesday and we want to remind them about bus safety,” said Sgt. Walters with the Colonial Heights Police Department.

If a bus is stopped with its lights on and stop sign out you can not pass it.

This is especially important for younger students and disabled students who may not think about looking before they cross a busy street to catch the bus or when getting off the bus.

“A lot of people don’t know it is a violation of the law to pass a stopped school bus and it’s a reckless driving violation,” said Walters.

And it’s not just on neighborhood roads.

“It also includes on school grounds where they are loading or unloading either children, adults, or anything that’s labeled as a school bus,” said Walters.

The law gets a little confusing on larger roads like the Boulevard in Colonial Heights. The law says if a bus is traveling in the near travel lane headed in one direction and if their lights are on with the stop sign out, you must stop.

Even if you are in the far travel lane going the opposite direction, you still must stop.

That is because on roads like this there is no raised median or grassy area.

And if you are caught breaking the law, you could face stiff penalties.

“It’s a reckless driving offense, so the judges have some options as far as fines and even some jail time if they chose to do that depending on the person’s record,” said Walters.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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