ORLANDO, Fla. – News 6 traffic safety expert Trooper Steve Montiero answers viewer questions about the rules of the road every week, helping Orlando-area residents become better drivers by being better educated.
With students across Central Florida returning to school Monday, Trooper Steve took a look at school bus safety.
Trooper Steve went back to Osceola County, where he went to school, and got some assistance from an old friend, Osceola County Public School Transportation Supervisor of Safety and Compliance Beverly Hughes.
"Let's talk how and when to stop for a school bus," Trooper Steve said. "Whether approaching a school from the front or the rear, you should know that the moment the yellow lights start flashing, a bus is getting ready to make a dropoff or pickup."
Once the bus comes to a complete stop, there will be red flashing lights.
"There is no other way to put this; when the red lights are flashing, it's time to stop your car," Trooper Steve said. "A driver should never pass the rearmost portion of a school bus when it's stopped. And when approaching from the front, leave a little buffer room, I recommend about three to four car lengths between you and the front of the school bus."
The only time a driver is not required to stop for a school bus is when approaching it from the front and there is a positive median barrier great than 5 feet. Examples of a positive median barrier are a grass median, concrete curbing or a barrier wall.
"Be courteous, because once the bus driver has deactivated the warning lights, they may need to change lanes after their stop," Trooper Steve said.
Passing a stopped school bus while it's loading or unloading could cost drivers more than $260.
If you have a traffic question for Trooper Steve, submit it here.