MORRISTOWN, NJ - As of this week, most students are back in school. That means that school buses are back on the roads.
The Morristown Department of Public Safety is reminding motorists that they must obey the school bus laws in New Jersey as well as the "Flashing Signal Light System" that school bus drivers use to alert motorists. On a roadway that is not divided by a physical barrier, cars must stop at least 25 feet from the stopped school bus with flashing red lights, whether or not the car is traveling in the same direction as the bus.
- Yellow flashing lights indicate that the bus is preparing to stop or unload and motorists should slow down and prepare to stop their cars.
- Red Flashing lights and extended stop arms means the bus is stopped and kids are getting on or off the bus. Motorists must stop their cars and wait until the red lights stop flashing, the extended stop arm is withdrawn and the bus begins to move again.
It is illegal to pass a stopped school bus with their red lights flashing. It could also turn deadly. According to statistics, over the past 32 years, 414 students have been killed while being picked up or dropped off by a school bus. Violating these laws could result in a $100 fine, up to 15 days in jail or 15 days of community service for a first offense. For subsequent offenses, violators may receive a $250 fine, up to 15 days in jail and five points to their drivers license.
"Please talk to your children about safe routes to school and encourage them to utilize crosswalks where crossing guards are present", said the Morris Plains Police Department. "Have a safe school year and help us to protect the community's greatest treasure, its children".