Last updated: August 02. 2014 2:07PM - 168 Views
By Trooper Steve Nabors Oklahoma Highway Patrol Troop E, Durant

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Summer break is coming to a close and schools are gearing up for the start of the 2014-15 year. That means buses will be taking to their respective routes all over the county during the morning and evening hours.

Let’s look at the laws and regulations governing vehicle operation around school buses.

A. The driver of a vehicle meeting or overtaking a school bus that is stopped to load/unload school children with its red loading signals in operation is to stop the vehicle before it reaches the school bus and not proceed until the loading signals are deactivated. Then the vehicle may proceed past the school bus at a reasonable speed and with due caution for the safety of children and other occupants. Any person convicted of violating these provisions shall be punished by a fine of not less than $100.

1. B. Visual signals (meeting the requirements of Section 12-228 of this title) activated by the school bus driver whenever, but only whenever, the bus is stopped on the highway to load/unload school children.

C. A vehicle driver on a highway with separate roadways need not stop upon meeting or passing a school bus that is on a different roadway. This includes when on a controlled-access highway and the school bus is stopped in a loading zone that is a part of or adjacent to such highway and where pedestrians are not permitted to cross the roadway.

D. If the school bus driver witnesses a violation of the provisions of subsection A of this section, within 24 hours of the alleged offense, the driver shall report the violation, the vehicle color, license tag number, and the time and place such violation occurred to the law enforcement authority of the municipality where the violation occurred. The law enforcement authority of a municipality shall issue a letter of warning on the alleged violation to the person in whose name the vehicle is registered. The Office of the Attorney General shall provide a form letter to each municipal law enforcement agency in this state for the issuance of the warning provided for in this subsection. Such form letter shall be used by each such law enforcement agency in the exact form provided for by the Office of the Attorney General. A warning letter issued pursuant to this subsection shall not be recorded on the driving record of the person to whom such letter was issued. Issuance of a warning letter pursuant to this section shall not preclude the imposition of other penalties as provided by law.

Lets all devote 100 percent attention to our surroundings and driving all the time. Have a safe school year.

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