Rules for Motorists
Ohio uses an eight-light school bus warning system. These lights are located on the front and rear of the bus near the top by the “school bus” sign. When the bus is approaching a student pick-up or drop-off area, yellow lights will flash indicating “motorists caution” because the bus is preparing to stop.
Red lights will flash indicating “motorists stop” and a stop arm will be extended from the side of the bus when the bus has stopped completely to pick-up or drop-off students. Motorists are required to stop at least 10 feet from a stopped school bus that is displaying flashing red lights and a stop arm.
When a school bus stops to pick-up or drop-off students on a road with one lane in each direction, or on a road with one lane in each direction plus a turn lane, all traffic must stop at least 10 feet from the bus. Motorists may continue only after the school bus resumes motion.
When a school bus stops pick-up or drop-off students on a road with two or more lanes in each direction, all traffic moving in the same direction must stop at least 10 feet from the bus. Motorists may continue after the school bus resumes motion.
It is not necessary for other vehicles to stop when a bus has stopped at a railroad crossing, but is advised that motorists proceed with caution as the bus may block their view of railroad track indicator signals or an approaching train.
Violation of the school bus stop law is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine up to $500.
Rules for Bus Drivers
- Hazard lights are activated approximately 100 feet before a railroad crossing sign. A bus must stop 15-50 feet from the tracks or at a stop line.
- Drivers will stop and set the parking brake, put the bus in neutral, and open door and window to look and listen for an approaching train.
- If there is no train, the driver will then put bus in gear, shut door, release air brake, and proceed across the tracks using caution.
- Hazard lights are turned off when bus is completely across the tracks