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3 Wisconsin Laws About Sharing the Road with a School Bus

 Posted on March 08, 2022 in Criminal Defense

WI defense lawyerYellow school buses were absent from Wisconsin’s roads for quite some time during the height of the pandemic. While schools were largely closed and relying on distance learning, drivers did not need to worry about sharing the road with these important vehicles. Now that schools have been reopened and school buses are back on the road, it may be a good time to review the state laws that apply when you encounter one. These laws are designed to keep both child passengers and everyone else on the road safe. Aside from being dangerous, violating a law about school bus safety could lead to serious fines or even a loss of license. If you have been issued a ticket after violating a school bus law, it is important to take it seriously - the state certainly does.

What Laws Do I Need to Follow When I See a School Bus on the Road?

School bus laws may feel very restrictive, but keep in mind that these laws are in place to protect children. Unlike adults, children cannot be expected to exercise great judgment when it comes to road safety. Younger kids can be quite unpredictable, and hard to spot around another vehicle. Wisconsin state laws other drivers must follow when they see a school bus include:

  • No passing - No one likes getting stuck behind a school bus. They make frequent stops and can slow down traffic for miles behind them. However, if you are going to pass a school bus you must do it while the bus is in motion. It is illegal to pass a stopped school bus, no matter how late you are.
  • Complete stop - All traffic must stop when a school bus flashes its red warning lights at a bus stop. This includes any traffic going the opposite direction, as some children may need to cross the road. The only exception is for vehicles going in the opposite direction when the highway is divided by a median.
  • Stay back - It is a good idea to give school buses plenty of extra space when you are behind them - when they stop at a bus stop, you must stop at least 20 feet behind them, which is very difficult to do if you were following too closely. The 20-foot rule also applies to traffic in other lanes, including those who were going in the other direction.

The points on your license and fines can be serious, particularly if you have received other tickets recently. It is also very important to obey reduced speed limits in school zones. Speeding fines can drastically increase if you are near a school while children are arriving or departing.

Call a Wisconsin Traffic Attorney

If you do receive a ticket for a school bus or school zone violation, Bucher Law Group, LLC may be able to help. Our Dodge County traffic lawyers have helped many drivers reduce the impact of these violations. Call 262-303-4916 for a free consultation.




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