Working Together To Promote School Bus SafetyThey Depend On You!
Every school day, at least 120 Colorado motorists sail right by a school bus stopped with red lights flashing to unload our children. The thousands of children who ride school buses depend on your cooperation with bus drivers and on your compliance with state law. Will you be one of those 120 drivers who endanger a child's life today?
Stop 20 Feet Before Reaching School Bus Flashing Red It's The Law!
Under state law, every vehicle must stop at least 20 feet before reaching the school bus.
Penalties and Surcharges: Violation of this law is a class two misdemeanor traffic offense or a class one misdemeanor traffic offense if committed again within 5 years. The sentencing guidelines for a class two misdemeanor traffic offense are as follows: a penalty of between $150 and $300, imprisonment in a county jail for 10 to 90 days, or both.
For class one misdemeanor traffic offense, the sentencing guidelines are as follows:--a penalty of between $300 and $1000, imprisonment in a county jail for 10 days to 1 year, or both. Additionally, a surcharge of 37 percent of the penalty is assessed.
When red lights are flashing:
The two red lights on both the front and the back of each bus are stop lights for both the bus and for you! Red lights mean the bus has come to a stop and is in the process of loading or unloading children. You have no choice, YOU MUST STOP 20 FEET IN FRONT AND 20 FEET BEHIND.
C.R.S. 42-4-1903 states you cannot pass until after the red lights have been turned off.
If you are approaching the bus from the front and you're traveling on a divided highway, you do not have to stop, but be extremely careful, our children are in the area!
When School Bus Approaches a Railroad Crossing:
You should be aware how school bus drivers handle railroad grade crossing situations.
1. As the driver approaches a railroad crossing, the hazard lights are used.
2. The driver keeps the bus as far to the right of the road as possible
3. The bus stops within 50 but not less than 15 feet of the crossing and the driver looks both ways down the track and listens for any trains.
4. The driver will once again stop if there are double tracks (with 15 ft in front and to the rear of the bus to do so.)
5. The driver will carefully merge back into traffic. This procedure is followed regardless of the kind of crossing protection which might be installed. Bus drivers stop at every crossing except for ones called "Exempt Crossings " which are clearly marked. School buses are not required to stop at crossings controlled by the red, amber, green traffic signal when it is in the green position. Keep in mind that a train may need more than a mile to stop. A bus needs a few feet in comparison. That's why buses stop and that's why bus drivers are extremely cautious near crossings.
Bus Light System
The two amber lights on both the front and the rear of each school bus are Warning Lights used just before the bus comes to a stop to load or unload children. The driver activates the amber lights in rural areas a distance of 500 feet from the stop. In urban areas, amber lights are activated 200 feet from the stop.
The eight light systems on every Colorado school bus is a traffic control device to protect school children.
Approach a bus using flashing amber lights with caution and anticipate a stop. Childrenmay be waiting for the bus and may be running to catch it.