Can You Pass a School Bus if the Stop Sign is not Out

As a driver, you should know when it is legal to pass a school bus and when it isn’t. This will prevent you from being pressured thinking you broke a law accidentally or over comfortable when indeed you broke a traffic law. Therefore, can you pass a school bus if the stop sign is not out?

Yes, you can pass a school bus if the stop sign is not out. The only time you are not allowed to pass a school bus is when the lights from the bus turn red with the stop sign is out. Passing the bus at the time is illegal and will get you a ticket.

Can You Pass A School Bus If The Stop Sign Is Not Out?

It is not a crime, nor is it illegal to drive past a school bus that is yet to show the stop signal. It is only unlawful when the driving lights from the bus turn red with the stop sign extending from the side of the bus. If you choose to drive past then you become a victim that breaks the law.

The stop signs are a message to drivers that the bus is passing, passing, taking in students into the bus, or getting students out, so it is expected you wait until this process is over.

Straight from Alabama, it is expected you stop when you are behind a School Bus or Church Bus when the stop signal is extended with the red flashes shining from behind the school bus. You are not expected to move until the stop signal is off.

There are also points you may not have a stop, most especially on a divided highway with over four lanes with above two traffic lanes on opposite sides.

What Happens if you Pass a School Bus if the Stop Sign is not Out?

Nothing is likely to happen if you drive past a school bus that hasn’t indicated a stop sign yet. It is tantamount to driving past other random vehicles until the stop sign is shown. That is when the rules change.

If accidentally you drive past a school bus with the stop sign extended and the red flashes of light perfectly visible, your attention will be given a ticket and called to court.

Sometimes, when you attend a court session, your driver’s license may be at risk of suspension for a time frame of 3 months or more, depending on how friendly the judge is.

What To Do If You Pass A School Bus If The Stop Sign Is Out?

There is nothing to do than to wait for your ticket. This is because passing a school bus with the stop sign out will definitely get you a ticket.

Don’t try to speed off because even if you do, the camera on the school bus will capture your license plate and you will get your ticket in your mailbox. It may even make the matter worse.

However, next time, pay more attention once you are approaching the school bus. School buses are not hard to indicate, you can easily know them from afar. Once you sight a school bus, slow down so you will be able to see the lights and the signs.

When Should You Pass A School Bus?

To avoid getting into the hike of errors and persecutions from the court, the following points are directives on when you can pass a school bus.

1. When Buses Travel on a Roadway

The highway is free for everyone to pass. When driving on the roadway, you have the utmost right to pass any vehicle when it’s safe to do so, including a school bus. It’s like driving past every other vehicle on the highway.

School buses are slow and can cost you your patience on the highway if it’s ahead of you; driving past isn’t bad except you would prefer staying close tight moving at the same pace as the bus driver.

2. When There is a 3 Lane of Roadway

There is always an exemption and the same it’s for highway laws when driving passes a school bus.

In Washington State, a driver may drive past a stopped bus because the roadway is 3 lanes or above, provided you are in an opposite lane. The same applies to Ohio. Other drivers can also drive past when there are four lanes or more.

When Should You Not Pass A School Bus?

There is only a major instance to why you can’t drive past a school bus.

When a Bus Shows Red Lights

The traffic lights show red lights to be a stop sign. When a school bus shows a red light and extends it, it is an attempt to stop and drop students or take in students.

This however requires drivers to stop to slow down in order to avoid putting students who attempt to cross the road from getting threatened by accidents.

This is no exemption in an undivided roadway. You are expected to stop or dance to the tunes of the law.


It is the priority of the government of all states to put students in a safe zone. Since more casualties from students have been connected to accidents while trying to cross roadways, because of this, vehicles are expected to stop when a school bus extends the stop signs to ensure students can get in and off a school bus at will.