As another school year gets underway across Wisconsin, drivers are asked to keep a sharp eye out for students and school buses. The State Patrol’s September Law of the Month details state laws designed to protect students as they head to and from school activities.
“Children aren’t always thinking about their own safety, so drivers need to be alert and cautious at all times,” said Captain Ryan Chaffee of the Wisconsin State Patrol Northeast Region – Fond du Lac Post. “This includes being ready to stop when school buses load and unload passengers, and to watch for children who are walking or biking.”
Wisconsin law requires drivers to stop at least 20 feet from a stopped school bus that has its red warning lights flashing. The law applies when approaching a school bus from either direction. The only exception is if you are traveling on the other side of a divided roadway separated by a median or other physical barrier.
When passed illegally, school bus drivers are authorized to report violations to law enforcement. If a citation is issued, the vehicle owner can be held responsible, even if they weren’t the offending driver. A citation for failure to stop for a school bus costs $326.