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Surrounded by yellow school buses

School started for some of the younger kids today, and I once again encountered a school bus sitting on the street outside my house. Maybe it’s because the kids are young, or maybe there are just so many of them, but our neighborhood school bus stays in one spot for quite a while. One of its stops is at a T intersection, and it likes to sit there with its yellow flashers on for a few minutes. Every time I pass it I wonder if I’m breaking the law.

Well, the WI DOT had a relevant question of the month last year that more or less answers my question:

I grew up out in the country without sidewalks, so when buses stopped, they always used their red top lights – and there is no doubt in my mind that that means stop (even when the bus is on an exit from a major highway like another bus I usually encounter on my way to work).  Likewise, if the stop sign is out, I know I have to stop.  The red lights and the stop sign only don’t mean stop if there’s a median.  But when the bus is just sitting there, sometimes picking up or dropping off kids, but sometimes killing time with its yellow flashers on, what do I do?  Apparently, pass with caution.  The only thing I can’t do is turn right in front of it.  That shouldn’t be a problem.

I’m relieved, especially since so many of my neighbors were out video taping junior’s first trip to school this morning.  If I had done something wrong, they’d all have it on video!

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