Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office is reminding drivers of their responsibility to stop for school buses displaying red flashing lights.
Because buses are large vehicles, it’s hard to see around them and illegally passing a stopped school bus is potentially devastating for children and drivers.
Law enforcement agencies continue to receive reports each year from bus drivers and citizens about motorists failing to stop for school buses. With nearly 6,000 school buses operating in the State of Oregon, drivers need to be alert.
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.
ORS 811.155 (2017)
(1) A driver commits the offense of failure to stop for bus safety lights if the driver meets or overtakes from either direction any vehicle that is stopped on a roadway and that is operating red bus safety lights described under ORS 816.260 (Bus safety lights) and the driver does not:
(a) Stop before reaching the vehicle; and
(b) Remain standing until the bus safety lights are no longer operating.
A driver need not comply with this section if the vehicle operating red bus safety lights is stopped on a different roadway.
Failure to stop for bus safety lights, is a Class A traffic violation.
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.
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 buses equipped with amber and red flashing lights.
Please do your part to make roads safe and be aware that any type of bus may be making frequent stops. Following these tips can reduce the risk of traffic crashes and pedestrian injuries in our community.
For more information and tips, visit the Sheriff Office’s website at www.lincolncountysheriff.net.