Hawaii Police Department
Traffic Services Section
Sergeant Kelly Ka’aumoana-Matsumoto
January 27, 2009
The Hawaii Police Department is reminding motorists about the laws related to school buses that have their alternating red signal lamps activated. The flashing lights mean the buses are loading or unloading children and traffic must stop.
Violators are subject to a fine of $147.
Sergeant Kelly Ka’aumoana-Matsumoto of the Traffic Services Section said police have received calls from the public recently complaining that motorists are failing to stop for school buses with flashing lights as children are being actively loaded or unloaded.
According to Section 291C-95 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes, the driver of any motor vehicle on the same highway or road in a residential area in the lane occupied by the school bus and all lanes adjacent to the lane occupied by the school bus, regardless of the direction of traffic in those lanes, shall stop the vehicle not closer than 20 feet from the bus. The driver shall not proceed until the school bus resumes motion and the alternating red signal lamps are turned off.
On a highway or road in a residential area that is divided into two or more lanes by a physical barrier or a clearly indicated dividing section, drivers in all lanes on the same side as a stopped school bus are required to stop when the lights are flashing.
“We are asking the public’s help in keeping our children safe,” Ka’aumoana-Matsumoto said. “This can be done if we are more mindful of our surroundings as we drive along our roadways on the Big Island.”