School is back in session, and you may be seeing more traffic, students walking or biking, and busses on the road. Drivers have a responsibility to stop for school buses displaying red flashing lights. Because buses are large vehicles, it is very difficult to see around them. The outcome of illegally passing a school bus can be devastating for children and drivers.
Law enforcement agencies receive reports each year from bus drivers and community members about motorists failing to stop for school buses. With nearly 6,000 school buses operating in the State of Oregon, motorists need to be alert. When a bus is flashing amber lights, motorists should prepare to stop. When the red lights begin to flash, motorists traveling in both directions must stop before reaching the bus and must remain stopped until the red lights are turned off. The same rules apply to church or work buses equipped with amber and red flashing lights.
Be aware when following any type of bus, it may make frequent stops. Oregon law requires motorists to stop whenever the red lights on a school bus are flashing, regardless of the direction they are traveling. The law applies to any roadway with two or more lanes of traffic, including multi-lane highways such as Highway 101. The only exception to the law is for divided highways with two roads separated by an unpaved median strip or barrier, such as in the Lincoln and Gleneden Beach areas. In this case, only drivers on the same side of the road as the bus must stop.
A painted median strip or a center lane used only for left turns does not create two separate lanes. Where this situation exists, all lanes of traffic must stop. By staying alert and following traffic laws, you reduce the risk of traffic crashes and pedestrian injuries in our community. Please do your part to make our roads safe. For more information and tips visit our website at www.lincolncountysheriff.net and like us on Facebook at Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office – Oregon.