Today is the first day of school in Prince William County, and that means all of those school buses will be out on the road transporting students.
- If you notice that a school bus is stopped and has flashing red lights and a stop sign on the side of the bust, you need to make sure you stop your vehicle and wait until the bus begins moving again, whether you’re on a highway, private road, or school road. This makes sure that students can exit the bus safely.
- Even if the signals are not flashing on the bus, if a school bus is letting passengers off, you still need to stop your vehicle and wait for them to safely exit. Sometimes yellow lights on a school bus will start flashing before the red lights, and you need to stop and be aware of these lights as well.
- If you are on the opposite side of the road as a school bus and there is a median or barrier in between, then you are not required to stop your vehicle if a buses’ lights are flashing.
“This time of year, you’re going to have an increase in bus traffic because school’s about to start. It’s really important that, as you drive, you are aware of your surroundings. If you see that you’re approaching a bus, slow down. Take that extra time to maintain that safe distance,” said Officer Nathan Probus with the Prince William County Police Department.
In Virginia, passing a school bus when their lights are activated is a misdemeanor crime that can be punishable by up to 12 months in prison, or a $2,500 fine.
Make sure you stay safe and start this school year off right.