Frequently Asked Questions about school bus passing laws from the Arkansas State Police’s Facebook page.

Here are two questions have been asked of us concerning passing school buses, so we will cover them both.

1. Four lane highways with a middle turning lane (five lanes)… if we are going the opposite direction of the school bus do we have to stop?

Yes. If you read below, the law states you must stop unless there is a median or dividing strip that is 20 feet of larger. On the highways with large grassy medians, you do not have to stop, but proceed slowly with caution.

2. I can clearly see that there are no children on my side of the road, why do I have to stop?

Just because you can not see children on the side of the roadway, does not mean you can break the law. Children can quickly run into the road, and they deserve to be protected.

27-51-1004. Passing when stopped prohibited.

When a school bus vehicle stops and displays its alternating red warning lights for the purpose of loading or unloading passengers, every operator of a motor vehicle or motorcycle meeting or overtaking the school bus from any direction shall bring the motor vehicle or motorcycle to a complete stop before reaching the school bus.

The operator of the motor vehicle or motorcycle shall not start up or attempt to pass in any direction until the school bus vehicle has finished receiving or discharging its passengers and is in motion again.

27-51-1005. Operation on multiple lane or divided highways.

For the purpose of this section, “multiple lane highway” means a road with four or more traffic lanes and with no fewer than two traffic lanes for traveling in each direction.

If the school bus is operated on a multiple lane highway divided by a parkway or dividing strip of twenty feet (20 feet) or more in width and if the school bus is on the opposite side of the parkway or dividing strip, then the driver of the approaching vehicle need not stop but shall proceed with due caution for the safety of the children.