Since the beginning of the school year, and even the start of the new semester, LAPS bus drivers have reported an increasing number of cars, throughout Los Alamos County, driving through the stop arm and flashing red lights of LAPS school buses. Last semester, 65+ cars ran a bus stop arm; in the past month alone, 20+ cars have driven through a bus stop arm.
Rules of the Road
Each and every driver can do their part by remembering school bus safety rules and tips.
- First, drive slowly and look for children waiting at the bus stop, walking or riding their bicycles to school.
- Second, know what the flashing lights indicate. A red flashing light with the extended stop arm means traffic is required to stop, even in both directions of a two-lane road. Yellow flashing lights mean the bus is preparing to stop, so proceed with caution.
- Finally, follow all school zone speed limits, look for students in crosswalks and never pass a bus on the outside of a turn.
NM State Law: 66-7-347
- Penalty: $175 and 6 points on drivers license1
- The driver of a vehicle upon approaching or overtaking from either direction any school bus which has stopped on the roadway, with special school bus signals in operation, for the purpose of receiving or discharging any school children, shall stop the vehicle at least ten feet before reaching the school bus and shall not proceed until the special school bus signals are turned off, the school bus resumes motion or until signaled by the driver to proceed.
- Every bus used for the transportation of school children shall bear upon the front and rear thereof a plainly visible sign containing the words "School Bus" in letters not less than eight inches in height.
- The driver of a vehicle upon a highway with separate roadways need not stop upon meeting or passing a school bus which is on a different roadway or when upon a controlled-access highway and the school bus is stopped in a loading zone which is a part of or adjacent to such highway and where pedestrians are not permitted to cross the roadway.