ST. LOUIS – As children around Missouri prepare to return to school, take this as a friendly reminder to watch out for school buses on the roads.

For most, it’s a pretty simple concept. When a school bus extends its red “STOP” arm to pick up or drop off students, it’s best to hit the brakes and stay in place until the pickup or dropoff is done.

But that’s not the only consideration. If you’re driving around Missouri as school buses hit the roads again, here’s some basic information to consider.


According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol

  • Missouri drivers must stop for school buses when the stop arm is extended on all two-lane roads, regardless of their direction. Drivers must stop your vehicle and remain stopped until the bus’s flashing lights are turned off, the stop arm is withdrawn, and the bus starts moving again.
  • On a four-lane roadway without a median, all drivers must stop when the school bus is loading or unloading passengers, regardless of their direction. Drivers must follow similar rules for stopping and resuming as they would with two-lane roads.
  • If you are on a divided highway with a median, only vehicles traveling in the same direction as the school bus must stop. Drivers traveling in the opposite direction are not required to stop.
  • If there are more than four lanes or four with a median, and no children are crossing the road to the opposite side, only drivers behind the school bus are required to stop.

Illegally passing a school bus in Missouri could mean a 90-day driver’s license suspension. Penalties are heightened if a child is struck, injured, or killed.