Back-to-school spirit includes stopping for school buses

By Bill Lamoreaux / ADOT Communications

school busCheer on the Badgers, Wolves, Falcons, Jaguars, Prospectors, Rattlers or whatever mascot reps your favorite school. That’s right, school is back so cheer for your favorite team as part of the school spirit.

Get in the school spirit, and make sure to stop completely for school buses when the bus is stopped with its lights flashing and stop sign arm extended. 

It’s important to obey the stop sign in order to allow students getting on and off the bus a safe space to cross the street. About 13,000 motorists each year are reported by Arizona school bus drivers for not stopping as required.

In 2021, ADOT refined the process to make it easier for bus drivers to report drivers who run the stop sign. Using an online form, bus drivers can send a complaint of a stop sign violator directly to ADOT’s Motor Vehicle Division. MVD then sends a notification letter, which is not a citation, to the vehicle owner as an effort to call attention to the seriousness of running the stop sign.

Previously, school bus drivers would fax forms to the Arizona Department of Public Safety, which then emailed or faxed the reports to MVD. Those reports would often come in batches and be difficult to read. Using an online form removes a step from the process, making the submission electronic and faster.

Drivers, your homework is to review the penalties for passing a school bus when a stop sign arm is extended, which could be a civil penalty and possibly a suspended driver license – not to mention putting the safety of students at risk.

Be on the winning team, and make sure to not give the school bus driver a reason to report you by waiting until the stop sign arm is retracted.

School is back in session, and that means cheering for different mascots. What is the same for all of us, though, is to stop for school buses across Arizona’s roads picking up and dropping off future Antelopes, Lumberjacks, Sun Devils or Wildcats.