Ask a Trooper

Posted: Monday, August 27, 2001

With school once again upon us, I thought I would cover some of the traffic rules regarding school buses. The most common complaint we get regarding buses is cars passing when the red lights are flashing on the bus.

A.S. 28.35.145(a) states cars passing the bus in any direction must come to a complete stop at least 30 feet away from the bus and not go until the red lights have stopped flashing.

It is a crime to not stop or stay stopped while the red lights are flashing. That means you face up to 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000, as well as a mandatory 6 points on your license.

A.S. 28.35.145(e) states if you are the owner of a vehicle that does not stop for the red flashing lights on a bus, you are subject to a $60 ticket with no points added to your license. That means that if the bus driver gets the license plate number of your car as it passes their flashing red lights, and their description matches the description of your car, you can count on getting a ticket. This is another reason why it's so important to notify DMV if you sell your car.

We also have a big problem with people going around school buses too fast. 13 AAC 02.325(e) states you may not pass a school bus with alternately flashing yellow lights if you are going more than 20 mph. The penalty for this violation varies with your speed, but the maximum is a $310 fine and 6 points on your license.

If you have questions you would like to ask a trooper, send them to Alaska State Troopers, 4060 Heath St., Homer, AK 99603 or e-mail them to Chad_Goeden

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