HARRISBURG – As the school year gets underway, motorists need to be vigilant to avoid potentially tragic crashes and strong penalties as school buses return to the roads and transport children. Students are also exposed to traffic while waiting for buses or walking to the bus stop or to school. Motorists are reminded to be cautious and alert when approaching a school bus stop and to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks. Motorists must stop at least 10 feet away from school buses that have their red lights flashing and stop arm extended. Motorists must stop when they are behind a bus, meeting the bus or approaching an intersection where a bus is stopped. If physical barriers such as grassy medians, guide rails or concrete median barriers separate oncoming traffic from the bus, motorists in the opposing lanes may proceed without stopping. The penalties if convicted of violating PA’s School Bus Stopping Law include a $250 fine, five points on your driving record, and a 60-day license suspension. Drivers also need to be alert in school zones, which become hubs of vehicle and pedestrian traffic. Motorists are required to slow down to the posted speed limit of 15 mph in school zones.