With Hamilton Southeastern Schools back in session, it is a good time to review when you need to stop for buses. While it is clear on most two lane roads when you need to stop, too many people fail stop when they are required to on four lane roads.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and the following picture is worth at least that many:
The rules are that if you are behind a bus and the stop arm is extended, then you must stop regardless of the number of lanes on the road. When approaching a bus, if it is a two lane road, then it is generally pretty clear that you would also need to stop when coming towards a bus if the stop arm is extended.
Where the confusion usually arises is on multilane roads for vehicles approaching a bus that is stopped with the arm extended. Within the HSE district, this would include roads like 146th Street, 126th, 116th, Allisonville, and many many more. In the case of multi-lane streets, if there is only paved road between the two directions of traffic, then vehicles must stop. If the area is unpaved between the two lanes, then you would need to stop if there is less than 5 feet of unpaved area with no barriers. If there are barriers and/or more than 5 feet of unpaved space, then traffic approaching a bus is not required to stop, but should proceed with caution.
Many schools are starting to install cameras on buses to record and catch offenders that illegally stop buses. Noblesville Schools is adding cameras to 10 of its buses that are passed the most often, and they have plans to install more in the future. As time goes on, such cameras should become part of the standard bus equipment.
School is in session for most districts in our area. HSE runs three cycles of buses to pick up all the kids in the district, which means you’ll see them on the roads for a good part of the early morning as well as the afternoons. Be on the lookout, follow the law, and help keep our kids safe!
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