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Delaware State Police

Superintendent Colonel Nathaniel McQueen Jr.

School Bus Stops – ‘Drive as if Your Kids are at the Bus Stop’

Date Posted: Wednesday, November 7th, 2018

Delaware –  While thinking of ways to keep our kids safe at or near school bus stops, we ask drivers to please keep in mind the Rules of the Road for the safety and well-being of children. The Delaware State Police are paying close attention to the recent children involved crashes that occurred in Pennsylvania, Mississippi, Indiana and Florida.

These crashes are a reminder for Delaware to make sure drivers are aware of the rules of the road. School buses are one of the safest forms of transportation on the road, and Delaware drivers can help ensure the safety of our students by slowing down paying special attention to children they see and don’t see at school bus stops. Most of the children who lose their lives in bus-related crashes are pedestrians, many hit by motorists illegally passing stopped buses.

In the spring, Delaware public school bus drivers conducted their eighth annual survey of vehicles illegally passing their buses while they were loading/unloading students with their overhead red lights flashing and lighted STOP arms extended. The survey, conducted on May 4, 2018, included 1,108 bus drivers who reported 572 illegal passes, 8 of which were by the right side of the bus. Almost 300 of the illegal passes (296) were drivers approaching from the rear of the bus. More than half of the illegal passes (294) occurred on the morning bus runs. Alison May (Department of Education)

The Delaware State Police is working with the Delaware Department of Education, Delaware Office of Highway Safety, Delaware Department of Transportation and our community partners to remind drivers of the state’s “Rules of the Road” to keep our children safe when they are getting on or off a school bus. Additionally, it is very important to be aware of the presence of children waiting for the bus during the morning and afternoon hours since it may be dark outside as children attempt to get on and off the bus.

– Bus drivers will turn on the overhead amber flashing lights to give motorists advance notice that they are preparing to stop to pick up or discharge students.
– Once stopped, the bus drivers activate the overhead red flashing lights and extend their bus STOP arms.
– When a bus is stopped on a two-lane road with the overhead red flashing lights illuminated and STOP arm out, the driver of any vehicle approaching the school bus from the front or the rear of the bus shall stop and remain stopped until the red lights are no longer flashing and the STOP arm is retracted.
– On a roadway with four or more lanes, the driver approaching the bus from the front shall not stop.
– Drivers should stop far enough from the bus to allow students to safely enter and exit the bus.
– Be alert. Children can be unpredictable.

Please see the full subsection of the law: Overtaking and Passing School Bus

Title 21 Rules of the Road § 4166 Overtaking and passing school bus; stop signal devices.
Overtaking and passing school bus. — When a school bus is stopped and displays flashing lamps the driver of any vehicle approaching the school bus from the front or from the rear shall stop before passing the bus and remain stopped until such bus begins to move or no longer has the red stop lamps activated. On roadway or roadways with 4 or more lanes, the driver approaching from the front shall not stop.
Penalties — Whoever violates this section shall, for the first offense, be fined not less than $115 nor more than $230 or imprisoned not less than 30 days nor more than 60 days or both. For each subsequent like offense occurring within 3 years from the former offense, such person shall be fined not less than $115 nor more than $575, and imprisoned not less than 60 days nor more than 6 months. The minimum fine levied for a violation of subsection (d) of this section shall not be subject to suspension.
Suspension of license. — Upon receiving a conviction for a violation, the Department shall suspend the driver’s license and/or driving privileges for a period of not less than 1 month, nor more than 1 year.

If you or someone you know is a victim or witness of crime or have lost a loved one to a sudden death and are in need of assistance, the Delaware State Police Victim Services Unit/Delaware Victim Center is available to offer you support and resources 24 hours a day through a toll free hotline 1800 VICTIM-1. (1800 842-8461). You may also email the unit Director at

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Presented by the Director of Public Information, Sergeant Richard Bratz,

Released: 110718 1445


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