The Ohio Revised Code (4511.75) requires motorists to stop for a school bus in the process of either picking up or dropping off kids. But when, and in what lane, and where in relation to the bus can be confusing. Here’s some some help in determining when you need to stop.

As a motorist, you must stop for a “any school bus stopped for the purpose of receiving or discharging any school child” when:

  1. You are traveling in the same direction as the school bus; or
  2. You are traveling in the opposite direction on a two-lane highway; or
  3. You are traveling in the opposite direction of the school bus on a three-lane highway, regardless of turn lanes.

You do not have to stop in the opposite direction when there are 4 or more lanes. But remember, the turn lane doesn’t count as one of the lanes.

See the graphic below for more examples of when to stop. Remember – you MUST ALWAYS STOP if you’re going in the same direction as the school bus.

Our school bus drivers turn their amber / yellow warning lights on up to 300 feet before stopping, depending on the bus stop location. You should prepare to stop at this time, and not race the bus, or try to get around it. Once the red lights activate, our bus is actively picking up students.

Here’s what stopping for a school bus in the process of loading kids in the morning looks like – notice that all kids come from the right. Sometimes we have students cross over from the left.