PEMCO experts talk about basic bus rules: school bus vs. transit

Drivers are not big fans of buses, especially when they get stuck behind one.

Q13 talked to the experts at PEMCO Insurance about how drivers look for ways to “beat the bus.”

“We talk a lot about distracted driving and even road rage, but impatience is a problem more unique to buses,” said Eric Beck, a Manager for PEMCO Insurance Agency. “Drivers don’t want to get stuck behind a bus so they’ll often go out of their way to go around a bus and get in front of it.”

There are different rules when it comes to school buses versus transit buses.

Here are the basic rules for school buses:

  • If it's coming toward you, stop when the red lights flash unless you are on a road with three or more lanes or it is divided by a barrier or median.
  • If you are behind a school bus, you have to stop no matter how many lanes there are.
  • Stay stopped until the red lights on the bus aren't flashing and the stop paddle is pulled in.

PEMCO says the worst thing you can do is try to pass a stopped bus on the right side because that's where people are getting off and on.

You do not need to stop for a transit bus that is coming toward you or if you are behind one and the bus is pulled off the road at a bus stop.

"The one thing you need to remember is if they pull off the road, but they're not all the way off, they're still blocking your lane, you should stop," said Beck. Some drivers like to use the median as a passing lane and if you think about it the median is a yellow, solid line which yellow solid lines mean no passing, so you're actually breaking the law if you pass a bus that way."

Also, when a transit bus is signaling to get back onto the road, you must yield and let it in.

PEMCO says if you can't remember the rules during your driver, the best thing to do is to stop for a bus.

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