This graphic shows when drivers should stop for a stopped school bus. (DHI Media/File Photo)
This graphic shows when drivers should stop for a stopped school bus. (DHI Media/File Photo)

VAN WERT – After receiving several recent complaints from area school bus drivers, the Van Wert City Police Department is reminding citizens of school bus laws requiring drivers to stop for a stopped bus.

According to law, all cars on a road with fewer than four lanes must stop for a stopped school bus regardless of the direction the driver is traveling in. Drivers should stop at least 10 feet from the stopped bus and remain stopped until the bus begins to move or until the bus driver signals that it is okay to continue.

Even traffic with a center turn lane must stop on roads with fewer than four lanes.

Please see the graphic to the right for clarification. This graphic was created during the 2020 school bus safety week and was a joint collaboration from Van Wert City Schools and the Van Wert Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

On a road with four or more lanes, only traffic going in the same direction of the bus is required to stop.

Under the Ohio Revised Code, failing to stop for a school bus is an unclassified misdemeanor. The maximum fine can be up to $500 and a one-year license suspension, according to Lt. Doug Weigle of the Van Wert PD.

"You are also required to make a mandatory appearance in court," said Weigle. "If convicted, the BMV will assess two points on your driving record."

Weigle also advised that Van Wert City School buses are now equipped with cameras that will catch failure to stop violations and noted that there is a "slim to none" chance of "getting away with this violation."

"The Van Wert Police Department would rather everyone know the laws and be in compliance rather than give out the citations," added Weigle.