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On the Road: Know when to stop for those flashing red lights on school buses

By in Press Enterprise on November 26, 2017

By Amy Bentley

Q: Temecula resident Jane Lauhon observed that there is a lot of confusion about when a driver must stop for school buses that have their red lights flashing. She asked for clarity on the law surrounding this issue.

A: This is indeed a confusing issue to many drivers so let’s clear it up. California Vehicle Code section 22454 explains that all drivers on a street with one driving lane in each direction must stop when a school bus with flashing red lights and/or a stop signal arm is nearby, whether your vehicle is driving in the opposite or the same direction as the school bus. A vehicle driving in the same direction as a school bus must stop when a school bus activates its flashing red lights or stop arm on a multi-lane road as well. However, a vehicle driving in the opposite direction and on the opposite side of a divided highway or multiple-lane highway with two or more lanes does not have to stop for a school bus.

The law also says that if a vehicle is observed overtaking a school bus in violation of subdivision (a), and the school bus driver sees the violation, the bus driver may, within 24 hours, report the violation and the offending driver’s license number to local law enforcement. “That law enforcement agency shall issue a letter of warning with respect to the alleged violation to the registered owner of the vehicle.” The issuance of a warning letter under this paragraph shall not be entered on the driving record of the person to whom it is issued, but does not preclude the imposition of any other applicable penalty.

Those who drive through neighborhoods with schools – especially parents — need to use extra caution during the day, especially between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. when […]    

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