Students return to school this week, the Ankeny Police Traffic Unit urges drivers to pay attention and be aware of students walking or biking to school, new student drivers and school busses in your neighborhood and throughout the city. Do you know the rules for when it's illegal to pass a school bus? Review them now:
Amber (yellow) flashing lights indicate the bus is preparing to stop to load or unload children.
🚍Passing a school bus when the amber (yellow) flashing lights are activated is illegal.
🚌Motorists driving behind the bus should slow down and prepare to stop their vehicles when the amber lights are activated.
🚍Motorists approaching school bus from the opposite direction than the school bus is traveling should reduce their vehicle’s speed to not more than 20 mph and prepare to stop. (The only exception to this is if there are two or more lanes in each direction, which then only the vehicles passing from behind the school bus need to stop.)
Red flashing lights indicate there are students loading or unloading. Motorists should use extreme caution during this time as students may be running to or from the school bus.
🚌Passing a school bus when the red flashing lights are activated is illegal. When the red lights flash and the stop arm extends, drivers in both directions must stop. (The only exception to this is if there are two or more lanes in each direction, which then only the vehicles passing from behind the school bus need to stop.)
🚍Passing a school bus in a loading/unloading zone is illegal. This law applies to buses on both private and public property when yellow or red lights are flashing and the stop arm is extended.
🚌Never pass on the right side of the bus, this is where children enter or exit the bus. This is illegal and can have tragic results.
🚍Once the students are discharged or loaded and the flashing lights are turned off and the stop arm is retracted, traffic may return to normal.
Learn more about school bus safety, rules and exceptions via the Ankeny Police Department Traffic Unit, visit
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