Pennsylvania’s School Bus Laws

As the most common form of transportation, the government legislates laws for school buses that are for the purpose of regulating the safety of students to and from school. These laws establish detailed instructions as to who are allowed as passenger in the school bus, the kind of safety mechanism required of a school bus, proper places for bus to stop and the provision that government-owned busses are free for students enrolled in government schools.

Foremost requirement is that school bus must transport only students eligible for admission into the school and employees of the school who have received authorization from the board of directors. If there are minor children of the school bus driver or of eligible students, the board of directors may authorize them to ride on the bus as well.

PennDOT is very strict in enforcing all school buses to be installed with the latest safety features. To be easily distinguished from other vehicles, school buses are required to have identical color and with their front and sides to be labeled with the words - School Bus. Located at the bus left side is one stop signal arm that has red lights that automatically flash every time the bus stops. At least, one fire extinguisher of just the right size must be carried by every school bus.

Other motorists are obliged to stop at the time a school bus halts as the red flashing lights and stop arm are activated. Before motorists move on, they have to wait until the arm is pulled back and the red lights stops flashing. This traffic regulation is applicable to all motorists in both lanes and all intersections.
School bus fares are free which depends on the decision of board directors. The budget to finance this service is deducted from district funds if the school is operated by a nonprofit organization and the students are enrolled in the school located on districts covered by the route of the school bus.

Pennsylvania considers school bus safety as high priority. They encouraged all the students, parents of students, school teachers, administrators, transportation personnel and the motoring public to assume important roles in keeping students safe while they are in the school bus.

According to the report of NHTSA, about 19 American children of school age are killed annually as they get on and off the school bus pick up areas. Most are hit by the school buts or by passing motorists. This type of senseless killing can be eliminated is school bus laws are strictly followed and implemented.

For instance; motorists must stop 100 ft. away from a school bus with red lights flashing and left arm extended. Motorists can only proceed when lights stopped and left stop arm is withdrawn. They must also watch the child has reached a place of safety.

Penalties for a convicted violator of Pennsylvania´s School Bus Stopping Law include: payment of $250 fine; five points added in driver’s record; and 60days suspension of license.

Car Accident victims may be entitled to financial compensation for pain and suffering in addition to economic damages.

Please consult with an experienced car accident lawyer now for free consultation.


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