Accidents involving public transportation and commercial passenger-carrying vehicles can result in widespread and devastating damages. Given the sheer size of these motor vehicles – which can include trolleys, trams, and buses – and the fact that many occupants do not wear seat belts, accidents resulting in multiple injured victims or even fatal injuries are not uncommon.
Although any type of auto accident involving public transit or passenger carriers can be tragic, safety officials and lawmakers place a special emphasis on protecting children and others who ride in school buses.
Keeping Kids Safe on Schoolbuses
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, when we send our kids on the bus to school, we can trust that school buses are specifically designed with safety in mind. With their flashing lights, oversized mirrors, stop-sign arms, and distinct bright yellow color, school buses create a highly visible presence on the road.
As a result, students who choose to travel by school bus are 70 times more likely to reach their destination safely when compared to those traveling by car.
This statistic highlights the effectiveness of school buses in providing a secure transportation option for students, reinforcing the importance of utilizing this mode of transportation for a safer journey to school. 
When Children Are Not on the Schoolbus…
When school buses are in operation, children may be present in the surrounding areas, boarding or disembarking the bus on busy streets. As cars share the road with school buses, they have to use extreme caution and may have to make sudden stops or maneuvers to ensure the safety of these young pedestrians at the beginning and end of the school day.
The speed limit in a school zone is 15 miles per hour and it is 25 miles per hour in a school crossing zone. These are in effect 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after the school day, or when children are present. 
By being mindful and giving careful attention to children around the bus, drivers and school bus drivers together can help prevent accidents near school bus stops. In fact, Nevada enforces several important laws for how motorists are required to share the road with school buses.
Legalities Regarding School Buses
Although these laws are in place, far too many drivers fail to obey them simply because they are not entirely familiar with what they’re required to do. Below are a few key points to clarify Nevada law on driving near stopped school vehicles.
Right Of Way Rules For Divided Highways
There is only one situation in which a motorist can legally pass a stopped school bus that has its warning signals turned on: when the motorist is traveling in the opposite direction and the road has a physical barrier separating the traffic, such as a median or raised curb. 
When this is the case, drivers on the opposite side of the road must still remain aware and use caution when driving near a stopped school bus.
School Bus Right Of Way Rules For Non-Divided Highways
If there is no physical barrier dividing the road, such as a grass median – such as if the road is only separated by pavement markings – motorists traveling in both directions must stop for a school bus with flashing lights or extended bus stop arms. Drivers on the same side, as stopped school buses with red flashing lights, must always stop.
Drivers must stop for school buses displaying a flashing red light signal as they load or unload passengers. They cannot proceed past the school bus until the bus driver has turned off the flashing red lights.
Motorists must remain stopped near school buses until lights stop flashing. Illegally passing a school bus is punishable by fines and the possibility of license suspension.
Penalties for Not Stopping for School Buses
Understanding Nevada’s laws on stopping for school buses is important for the safety of children and the prevention of legal repercussions.
Illegally passing a school bus can result in fines and possible license suspension. For a first offense, the fine is $250 to $500, and 4 demerit points are added to your license.
A second offense within a year results in a fine of $250 to $500 and a 6-month license suspension. A third offense or subsequent offense within two years leads to fines up to $1,000 and a license suspension up to a year. In Las Vegas, the typical first-time offense fine is about $305. 
Additional Laws Regarding Nevada School Buses
Nevada enforces school bus laws to ensure the safety of children, who may be prone to running into traffic or simply not paying attention to their surroundings after getting off of a bus. This is why speed limits are decreased in school zones. 
In order to avoid fines, drivers may also want to keep in mind that they are required to stay at least 25 feet away from the school bus in all directions, even if they are driving on a divided highway. When drivers on all sides of a bus come to a complete stop as buses are unloading students, this ensures motorists do not place school bus passengers in danger.
At Shook & Stone, our lawyers have helped many auto accident victims put their lives back together after being harmed in preventable accidents. If you have questions about your rights after a traffic accident, contact our firm for a FREE consultation.
 School Buses – National Safety Council. (n.d.). School Buses – National Safety Council. https://www.nsc.org/community-safety/safety-topics/school-safety/buses-safest-transportation-for-school-children
 School zone rules you need to know. (2019, August 9). KTNV 13 Action News Las Vegas. https://www.ktnv.com/news/school-zone-rules-you-need-to-know
 NRS: CHAPTER 484B – RULES OF THE ROAD. (n.d.). NRS: CHAPTER 484B – RULES OF THE ROAD. https://www.leg.state.nv.us/NRS/NRS-484B.html#NRS484BSec353
 Harris, R. (2021, August 10). Failing to Stop for a School Bus in Nevada – Ticket Busters. Ticket Busters. https://ticketbusters.com/failing-to-stop-for-a-school-bus-in-nevada/
 News Releases | Nevada Department of Transportation. (n.d.). News Releases | Nevada Department of Transportation. https://www.dot.nv.gov/Home/Components/News/News/6766/395?cftype=News