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Make sure you know when to stop for school buses

School bus rules. Image credit: City of Bellevue Associate Planner John Murphy.
School bus rules. Image credit: City of Bellevue Associate Planner John Murphy.

By Richard Van Winkle, News of Mill Creek.

When school is back in session school buses will be busy at certain times of the day bringing our kids to and from their schools.

Please be careful and follow Washington State laws or face a hefty $430 fine.

Yellow flashing lights on the front and back indicate a bus is about to stop to load or unload students, so motorists should slow down and be prepared to stop.

When the yellow flashing lights turn to red, it’s time to stop while the kids get on or off the bus.

Here are four different scenarios to watch out for:

Two-lanes: You must stop for a school bus that is stopped with its red lights flashing or with the stop paddle extended whether it is on your side of the road, the opposite side of the road, or at an intersection you are approaching.

Three or more lanes: You are required to stop for a school bus that is stopped with red lights flashing or has the stop paddle extended when you are traveling in the same direction as the bus. If you are traveling on the opposite side of the road you may proceed with caution.

When in turn lanes: You are required to stop for a school bus that is stopped with red lights flashing or has the stop paddle extended.

Roads with medians: You are required to stop for a school bus with red lights flashing or has the stop paddle extended when you are traveling in the same direction as the bus. If you are traveling in the opposite side of the road you may proceed with caution.

For all of these scenarios, after the school bus red lights have stopped flashing, watch for children along the side of the road and do not proceed until they have completely left the roadway.

 City of Bellevue Associate Planner John Murphy.

Image credit: City of Bellevue Associate Planner John Murphy.

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