Stop Paddle Law

Stop for flashing red lights - SJ Update photo

Stop for flashing red lights – SJ Update photo

Kris DayVincent shares this with you…

Did you know we have six stoplights on San Juan Island? They are all perfectly legal; in fact there is up to a $394 (RCW 46.61.372) fine if you run one of them. What you say? True! The catch is these stop lights are attached to school buses, those big yellow titans that carefully transport our community’s children to and from school.

Transporting children via school buses is very safe; however the most dangerous part of a school bus rider’s day is when they are getting on and off the bus. Drivers who are unsure about the law or preoccupied by their phones and other distractions sometimes fail to stop for the red flashing lights and create a dangerous situation.

The school bus stop light system is easy to understand if you think of it like a regular stop light. If the lights on the top of the bus have just turned yellow, you slow down a bit but don’t have to stop. If the lights have been yellow for a few seconds, you should stop. If they are red, you should stop safely but immediately.

The driver cannot signal the children across the street until your vehicle is stopped. Why do we stop cars even if the student isn’t crossing the road or it is an older student? We have found it is safer to have a consistent system for all to follow every time. And it’s the law; RCW 46.61.370.

Our community’s school buses have an excellent safety record; please join us in keeping it that way!

Thank-You Kris DayVincent, School Bus Driver

Posted on May 3, 2016 at 5:47 am by

Categories: Health & Wellness, Letters, Schools


  1. Thank you for this thoughtful post, Kris. I always wondered why the stop light was on when there were no students crossing; now it makes sense.

    Thanks again for taking time to keep drivers informed and the community’s children safe.

    Comment by Stephanie Prima on May 3, 2016 at 7:42 am
  2. Great article. The rule is so simple! Why doesn’t follow it anyway? The article should be run at the end of summer too.

    Comment by Sheila Harley on May 3, 2016 at 7:44 am

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