An Open Letter to Motorists from a Bus Driver

A Bus Driver's Goal is to Keep it's Passengers Safe

Dear Motorists,

As a bus driver, my first priority is ensuring that the students under my care arrive safely and securely at their destinations–and I need your help to make that happen. Road safety is my #1 priority. In order to accomplish those goals, can we reach an agreement? There are several common laws that have either been forgotten or which many of you simply choose not to follow.

Rule #1: When My Lights Flash and Arm Extends, You Have to Stop

Legally speaking, you’re required to stop your vehicle when my stop sign is extended and my lights are flashing. This isn’t a deliberate effort to inconvenience you; it’s a safety measure for the students in my care. Keep in mind these key rules:

  • On a divided highway, only the traffic traveling on the same side of the road as the bus needs to stop. If you’re on the opposite side of a divided highway, feel free to drive on through!
  • If we’re not on a divided highway, all lanes of traffic must stop when I stop. This is for the safety of my students, who may have to cross the road to reach their homes.
  • If my yellow safety lights are flashing and my red stop lights aren’t and my stop sign isn’t extended, you need to proceed with caution. Make sure you’re looking carefully around you, but you may not need to come to a complete stop.

Rule #2: Don’t Rush to Pass Illegally

My bus takes up a lot of space on the road, and all too many motorists try to zoom around it without stopping to think about what it does for visibility. I know that you’re in a hurry. You need to get to work on time, or complete your errands, or make it home before your own students get off of the bus. Rushing around me–especially illegally–is more likely to cause an accident, especially when you can’t see what’s going on–and that might impact more than you. It might also impact the dozens of children on my bus.

Rule #3: Keep Your Distance

When you’re stopping behind me, take a minute to consider how close you are to the bus. Children are at the greatest risk for being hit in the zone about ten feet around the bus–and that can be a serious problem if you’re edging closer. Check out our state’s regulations for how far away from the bus you need to be stopped and proceed accordingly.

With your cooperation, we can make students much safer and prevent accidents–and that’s a win for everyone involved.


A Concerned Bus Driver


If you have more questions about the rules of the road and maintaining proper etiquette and safety when dealing with a school bus, contact us! we’ll make sure that you understand the key elements of road safety to keep both students and drivers safer.