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Pay attention to school buses

Everyone knows they have to stop in all lanes when a school bus is stopped on the highway to load or unload students. Right? Apparently, a number of people who have been given traffic citations for not stopping on Highway 31 in South Clanton didn’t.

My son, Shane, suggested I devote my next column to letting motorists here know the state law. Considering a Chilton County school bus was struck by a car just after school opened in August, he made a good suggestion.

A school bus stop law that became effective in 2006 states “The driver of a vehicle upon meeting or overtaking from either direction any school bus which has stopped for the purpose of receiving or discharging any school children on a highway, on a roadway, on school property or upon a private road shall bring the vehicle to a complete stop before reaching the school bus.”

Since roadways come in various numbers of lanes, the following may clear up when a person is to stop on certain size roadways.

Two-lane roadway: When a school bus stops to load or unload passengers, all traffic from both directions must stop.

Four-lane roadway without a median separation: When a school bus stops to load or unload passengers, all traffic from both directions must stop.

Roadway of four lanes or more with a center turning lane: When a school bus stops to load or unload passengers, all traffic from both directions must stop.

Two-lane roadway with a center turning lane: When a school bus stops to load or unload passengers, all traffic from both directions must stop.

Divided highway of four lanes or more with a median separation: When a school bus stops to unload passengers, only traffic following the bus must stop.

For the safety of school children, it always pays for motorists to obey the law and drive carefully anytime they are driving in areas where school buses load or unload. If you don’t and drive passed a stopped school bus on Highway 31 South in Clanton, you most likely will see a police car’s blue light in your rear-view mirror.