Local News

Police, parents concerned about drivers passing school buses

school buses by Jeff Switzer
Are you familiar with the rules of the road when it comes to passing school buses that have their red lights flashing? On a two-lane road, the answer is simpler, but what happens on a multi-lane road?
   Woodinville Community police officers are keeping their eye on the Woodinville Heights area because morning commuters have been passing buses illegally, either because they don't see the lights or they aren't familiar with the laws.

Two-lane roadway
   On a two-lane road, if a bus has its amber lights flashing, it is about to stop to load or unload school children, and drivers should be cautious and slow down.
   When its red lights begin to flash, drivers in both directions must stop.

Multi-lane roadway
   If the roadway has multiple lanes (two travel lanes and a shared left turn lane or more) and the school bus is stopped for students, drivers need only stop if they are traveling in the same direction. Cars traveling in the opposite direction on multiple-lane roadways need not stop.
   Even if a driver is making a left turn traveling in the same direction as a stopped school bus with alternating flashing red lights, the driver must stop until the lights are turned off.
   A school bus may pull completely off of the roadway with its amber lights flashing to load or unload students, and when this happens, drivers do not need to stop in either direction, whether on two-lane or multi-lane roadways; however, drivers must slow down and use caution as they pass the bus.

Drivers should consider: