I spoke with someone who received a traffic ticket. In his home state of New York, drivers stop when the bus stops on the same side of the street as the motorist. In Georgia, all traffic stops when a school bus stops. I strongly advise motorists to go to Motor Vehicle or online to get a copy of the driver's manual when driving in another state. None of us need a bill these days, certainly not for something we can avoid. Many of our friends, family, and co-workers are moving to another state. Please be advised that the driving laws differ from state to state. Remember, ignorance of the law is no excuse.
By Gwen from Atlanta, GA
The same law applies in New York State. All vehicles have to stop in both directions when picking up or dropping off school age children. That's probably why the ticket was issued, because the driver failed to stop. I live in New York State.
Good advice because traffic laws definitely differ from state to state.
If you go faster than 20 mph in a school zone with flashing school zone lights in Washington State the fine is between $185 and $784 depending on the speed of the violator and the school zone citation fines may not be waived, reduced, or suspended. As far as I know, you must stop no matter which direction you are traveling in all states for a school bus with it's flashing lights on or stop flag out even if it hasn't come to a complete stop yet.
Wow, I thought all States had the law about all traffic stopping when a school bus stops! I can't imagine a law that allows the oncoming traffic to continue - kids often have to cross the street to get on or off the bus!
Stopping for school buses is a federal law, not a state one and does not differ when traveling from one state to the next. You must even stop on divided highways. However other laws, like the speed in a school zone can differ--in my city it's 25mph, in the state I was born in, it's 10mph. I agree that it's always wise to follow the laws where you are driving, but it can be difficult to find out what those laws are. I'm familiar with several states where officers look for out-of-state tags, since the drivers aren't familiar with the laws and often break them. Sad, but true.
It's also important to know and heed speed limits in different states. In years past, I regularly drove from Ohio to Indiana. The Interstate speed in Ohio was 65; in Indiana it was 55 or 60. I always heeded the signs. However, an inattentive driver who went over the limit naturally got ticketed.
I also learned the hard way to heed speed limits even within Ohio. I recall receiving a ticket between London and Springfield, Ohio. My offense? I didn't see a sign advising a 5 MPH reduction in the speed limit. An expensive lesson I never forgot!
In most places I'm aware of, you need to stop for a school bus that is flashing lights and stopped road regardless of your driving direction, unless it's a divided highway. Not a line in the middle but a median strip, a barrier, a true divided highway.
In my opinion, officers who deliberately target out-of-state cars for traffic offenses are not interested in safety but in revenue for their state. Having had this happen in Idaho, when visiting from Canada, I will tell you that I was not inclined to visit the state again. My son was issued a speeding ticket when cars from the home state sped by us easily doing 10 mph faster than we had been driving. The message from the governor welcoming all visitors to the state rang somewhat hollow that evening when I read it in the tourism book. Sadly, I doubt that it is a whole lot different anywhere.
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