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Motorists warned about school bus laws

PennDOT, police remind drivers of stoppage rules

HOLLIDAYSBURG — An increase in drivers failing to stop for school buses on Plank Road has police and PennDOT warning motorists of penalties for not obeying the law.

According to PennDOT spokesman Monica Jones, Allegheny Township police have noted an increase in reports of driver’s not stopping for school buses picking up and dropping off children on Plank Road between the Meadows intersection and Convention Center Drive. The roadway is not a divided highway so motorists headed in both directions must stop.

Only if physical barriers such as grass medians, guardrails or concrete medians separate oncoming traffic from the bus may drivers in opposing lanes not stop, according to PennDOT.

Pennsylvania’s School Bus Stopping Law mandates that motorists:

— Must stop at least 10 feet away from school buses that have their red lights flashing and stop arm extended.

— Must stop when they are behind a bus, meeting a bus or approaching an intersection where a bus is stopped.

— When following or traveling alongside a bus must stop until the red lights have stopped flashing, the stop arm is withdrawn, and all children have reached safety.

Police also warn motorists that if convicted of a violation for failure to stop for a school bus, they face $250 fine, plus a $35 surcharge, five points on their driving record and a 60-day driver’s license suspension.

For a better understanding of the law, PennDOT’s highway safety website, www.penndot.gov/safety, offers an interactive feature illustrating Pennsylvania’s school bus stopping law. Once on the site, click on the Safety tab, go to Traffic Safety and Driver Topics and click on School Bus Safety.

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