Transportation Matters in Iowa | Blog

Print Friendly and PDF

Roadside Chat - Eyes up - phone down, school buses are around

08/27/2021

8-27 eyes up phone downMany of Iowa’s school districts began the 2021-22 academic year this week. With the start of school, it’s time to brush up on the rules of the road related to when it is legal to pass a stopped school bus.

Here are the general guidelines.

SCENARIO 1: YOU ARE TRAVELING ON A TWO- OR THREE-LANE ROAD

  • Approaching the bus from the rear: When you see flashing red or amber warning lights, you are not permitted to pass the school bus and should be prepared to stop. Stop behind the school bus when the school bus stops, and the stop arm is extended. Stop no closer than 15 feet from the rear of the bus and remain stopped until the stop arm is retracted, and school bus starts moving again. Proceed with caution.
  • Meeting the bus from the front: When you see amber warning lights flashing you must slow your vehicle to no more than 20 mph and be prepared to stop. Stop in front of the school bus when the school bus stops, and its stop arm is extended. Remain stopped until the stop arm is retracted. Proceed with caution.

SCENARIO 2: YOU ARE TRAVELING ON A ROAD WITH TWO OR MORE LANES IN EACH DIRECTION

  • Approaching the bus from the rear: When approaching from the rear, the rules are the same as for a two- or three- lane road. When you see flashing red or amber warning lights, you are not permitted to pass the school bus and should be prepared to stop. Stop behind the school bus when the school bus stops, and its stop arm is extended. Stop no closer than 15 feet from the rear of the bus and remain stopped until the stop arm is retracted and school bus starts moving again. Proceed with caution.
  • Meeting the bus from the front: When meeting the bus in one of the opposite two lanes (or more), you do not need to stop, even if the bus has stopped with lights flashing and stop arm out. The bus is not permitted to load or unload children who must cross this type of roadway unless there are official traffic control devices or law enforcement present. This is the only time you may pass a school bus that is stopped and has its stop arm extended.

School-Bus-Passing-Illustrations_2017-modified-for-social-media

You can’t start the school year without this - https://youtu.be/e_04ZrNroTo

So far in 2021, there have been 208 deaths in traffic crashes. That is an increase of 11since last Friday. To see statistics published daily by the Office of Driver Services, go to the daily fatality report at https://www.iowadot.gov/mvd/stats/daily.pdf


Iowa law states:
*On a two-lane road, traffic in both directions must come to a full stop when the lights are flashing red.

*On a four-lane road, traffic moving in the opposite direction must slow down and proceed with caution when either red or yellow flashers are present.

The law does not specifically call out railroad crossings. Here's a link to the Iowa Code - https://www.legis.iowa.gov/docs/code/321.372.pdf

Are drivers required to stop when a bus has stopped at railroad crossing?

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Have a comment?

Add your comment



Iowa highway in the evening