One of the biggest back-to-school challenges every year can be for parents and other drivers who used the entire summer to forget the rules of the road when it comes to school buses. With school districts all over Colorado starting the new school year, you will see many yellow and black buses every morning and afternoon driving on neighborhood and even major roads.
The biggest question on drivers' minds when they encounter a school bus is, do I have to stop? It's a natural question, given the frequent stops by school busses along roads that sometimes are busy and wide, and other times quiet and narrow.
According to the nonprofit National Safety Council, about 25 million students start and end their day on a school bus. The council stresses that, when it comes to schoolchildren, drivers should never assume they will follow the rules.
"Children are often unpredictable, and they tend to ignore hazards and take risks," the council wrote on its website.
According to the Colorado Drivers Handbook, you must stop your vehicle at least 20 feet before reaching a school bus that is stopped with its red lights flashing whether it is on your side of the road, the opposite side of the road, or at an intersection you are approaching. You must remain stopped until the flashing red lights are no longer operating. You are not required to stop if the school bus is traveling toward you on a roadway that is separated by a median or other physical barrier.
The handbook also asks drivers to watch carefully for children near the school bus and children crossing the roadway before proceeding.
Denver7 traffic anchor Jayson Luber says he has been covering Denver-metro traffic since Ben-Hur was driving a chariot. (We believe the actual number is over 20 years.) He's obsessed with letting viewers know what's happening on their drive and the best way to avoid the problems that spring up. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram or listen to his Driving You Crazy podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, Podbean or YouTube.