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Students, Buses and the Law

Provided by Prince William County Schools (PWCS)

On the first day of school, more than 800 county school buses were on the roads as early as 5:30 a. m. to pick up more than 61,000 students, traveling 66,000 miles a day.

Motorists are reminded that flashing yellow lights in school zones began on August 28. School zone lights were turned off at most schools in the county during the summer.

School Division staff work hard to ensure the safety of students on buses, but their safety also depends largely on the willingness of motorists to follow laws concerning school buses.

By law, motorists must stop when a school bus is stopped with its red lights blinking and stop sign extended, except when the bus is on the opposite side of a median strip. Motorists must also stop if the bus is loading or unloading children and the signal devices are not functioning properly. Passing a stopped school bus is considered reckless driving. This is a misdemeanor in Virginia and violators face fines of up to $2,500 and jail time, as well as six points on their driving record.

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