I have seen it happen many times with my own eyes and even more times shared on the news. Drivers impatiently ignoring the flashing lights and stop sign on an active school bus. Schools have been in session now for two weeks in some cities and towns. Once again as drivers on the roads, we now share these same roads with the big yellow sight blocking four wheeled buses. As frustrating as it can be to try and get to work on-time through the 10 or more stops that the buses must make, we still must abide by the laws put in place to keep the children boarding and disembarking safe. Ignoring these laws can be quite costly but moreover deadly. Here are the rules of the road when it comes to school buses, which can be found on the Mass.gov website.
When approaching a vehicle which displays a sign bearing the words ‘‘SCHOOL BUS‘‘ which is equipped with front and rear alternating flashing red signal lamps , when those lamps are flashing and the bus is stopped to allow pupils to exit from or board the bus, a person operating a motor vehicle shall, except when approaching from the opposite direction on a divided highway, bring his vehicle to a full stop before reaching said school bus and shall not proceed until the warning signals are deactivated, unless directed otherwise by a police officer duly authorized to control the movement of traffic.
Punishment for violations:
- First Offense- a fine of not less than $250
- Second Offense- a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $1,000
A second conviction or third or subsequent conviction shall be reported by the court or magistrate to the registrar who shall immediately revoke the license / right to operate of the person convicted with no appeal, motion for a new trial.
no license or right to operate shall be issued by the registrar to any person convicted of a second such offense until 6 months after the date of revocation following the conviction.
- Third Offense- a fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $2,000.
No license or right to operate shall be issued by the registrar to any person convicted of a third or subsequent offense until 1 year after the date of revocation following said conviction
No person shall operate a motor vehicle within a distance of 100 feet behind a school bus.
Every school bus has the words ”keep back 100 feet” prominently displayed on the back of the bus, in type large dark print so that the words are clearly legible at a distance of 100 feet.
For more information on the laws surrounding school buses, please visit this website: