Rules of the Road: Back to School Edition

It is the start of a brand new year of school, and that means another year of getting stopped behind school buses, yielding at crosswalks, and slowing down through school zones.

man driving safely

young man wearing security belt in his car

According to PennDOT, in 2020 there were more than 30,000 registered school buses transporting approximately 1.5 million school kids on the roads in Pennsylvania. In the same year, the state also reported that 2,800 people were injured in pedestrian accidents, with 146 deaths, and 156 school bus crashes.

In an attempt to help these numbers decrease, we have gathered together the best rules and laws of the road to keep you and your children safe this school year.

Pennsylvania School Bus Stopping Laws

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, all drivers must take appropriate steps for keeping children safe as they ride a school bus. Details of the law include the following:

  • When you meet or overtake a stopped school bus with red signal lights flashing and stop arm extended, you MUST STOP.
  • When you approach an intersection where a school bus is stopped with red signal lights flashing and stop arm extended, you MUST STOP.
  • You MUST STOP at least ten (10) feet away from the school bus.
  • You MUST WAIT until the red lights have stopped flashing and the stop arm has been withdrawn before moving.
  • DO NOT MOVE until all the children have reached a place of safety.

If you violate this, you may receive a 60-day suspension of your driver’s license, 5 points on your record, and a $250 fine.

School Zone Speed Limit

School zones are typically marked with signs at their “beginning” and “end.” These zones are a short distance so be patient.

The speed limit for school zones in Pennsylvania is 15 mph. If caught speeding in a school zone, you could face a fine of up to $500 and 3 points on your license. If caught speeding in a school zone a second time, you could lose your license for 60 days.

Pennsylvania Crosswalk Law

Drivers must yield to pedestrians when they are in a crosswalk at an intersection. Drivers must also yield to pedestrians crossing at any other designated and marked crosswalk.

Drivers who violate the crosswalk law may face a $50 fine and 2 points on their driving record.

On the other hand, pedestrians should only cross the street in marked crosswalks.

While this information is vital, it should not be new. We hope that this ‘Rules of the Road’ guide has helped refresh your memory in regard to back-to-school traffic safety. If misfortune has indeed found you and your vehicle, please come see us at Direct Paint for any automotive collision service. Here’s to a new school year!