Advice for Drivers and Parents of School Bus Riders
By Melanie Zayas, SNJ Today Reporter
PENNSAUKEN, N.J. -
In just the last few weeks, several children across the country have been tragically killed while waiting for or boarding their school buses.
New Jersey State Law says a driver must stop on an undivided highway when approaching or overtaking a stopped bus from behind. The law is called the "Improper Passing of School Buses" (NJSA 39:4-128.1).
Traffic Officer Ray Kern, from the Pennsauken Police Department says, “You have to stop at least 25 feet on both sides from the school bus and remain stopped until the lights are deactivated when children are entering through the school bus and out of the school bus.”
Officer Kern says when passing on a divided highway in the opposite direction, a driver must slow to 10 miles per hour until passing the bus and any children that are entering or exiting.
Those who do not choose to abide by the law can look forward to an assortment of penalties.
For the first violation, penalties will include a $100 fine and a five-point violation.
Motorists could also get up to 15 days in jail or community service.
For a second offense, a mandatory 15 days of jail time and a $250 fine will be issued.
Officer Kern shares additional advice for both parents and children when boarding or exiting a bus.
“Just don’t dart out. When you come to the edge of the bus ... look both ways. ... You’re not gonna guarantee that a person is not paying attention with cellphones and things going on and distractions —impaired drivers.”