Troopers remind drivers obey school bus laws - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Troopers remind drivers obey school bus laws

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

They're big. They're bright. They're yellow.

Iowa State troopers say drivers shouldn't have an issue not seeing school buses on the road, but somehow, some drivers disregard them. "Your child, or your sister or brother could be on that school bus," said Trooper Jon Stickney of the Iowa State Patrol.

An example is from a video out of Washington state. It shows a truck was just inches away from striking three students. 

"There's no reason why you would be able to miss a school bus," said Stickney.

Now with most students back in school, troopers want to remind drivers that stopping for a school bus is the law. "Iowa law requires that you stop no closer than 15 feet from a stopped school bus with the stop arm being displayed with the red lights. If you're meeting a school bus with the amber lights on, you must slow your vehicle to not more than 20 miles per hour when approaching that school bus," added Stickney.

School buses have a lot of blinds spots. So, a safety tip for parents -- if you have to walk in front of a school bus to cross the street, don't forget the yellow cross arm is supposed to be extended.     

Also, make eye contact with the bus driver. "And that goes for motorists on the road way, when you see an amber, amber lights flashing and you don't know what to do, reduce your speed and try to make contact, eye contact with that bus driver," Stickney said.

Here are the school bus laws:

-- It is illegal to pass a bus from the rear when the amber or red lights are flashing.

-- When approaching a bus from the front, drivers should proceed cautiously at no more than 25 miles per hour while the ambers are on, and be prepared to stop.

 -- Drivers must stop a minimum of 15 feet away from the bus when the red lights are flashing and the stop arm is out.

 -- The penalty for violating school bus laws is an automatic driver’s license suspension in addition to a fine.

It's a serious offense when a driver is cited for violating the school bus law. They will have to appear in court.

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