TITLE 32. MOTOR VEHICLES AND TRAFFIC REGULATION

CHAPTER 1. LOUISIANA HIGHWAY REGULATORY ACT

PART IV. TRAFFIC REGULATIONS

SUBPART B. DRIVING ON THE RIGHT SIDE, OVERTAKING AND PASSING, ETC.

 

32:80  Overtaking and passing school buses

 

A. (1) The driver of a vehicle upon a highway meeting or overtaking from any direction any school bus that has stopped for the purpose of receiving or discharging any school children shall stop the vehicle not less than thirty feet from the school bus before reaching such school bus when there are in operation on said school bus visual signals as required by R.S. 32:318, and said driver shall not proceed until such bus resumes motion or the visual signals are no longer activated.

 

(2) The driver of any school bus is authorized to notify the appropriate law enforcement authority of any violation of this Subsection within twenty-four hours of the violation.  This notification shall be in writing on a form provided to the bus driver by the school board, shall be signed by the school bus driver, under penalty of criminal prosecution, in the presence of two witnesses, and it shall include the license plate number and color of the vehicle.  The notice may be sent to the appropriate law enforcement agency by mail, fax, or electronically.  If mailed, the notice shall be deemed timely if postmarked the day after the violation.

 

(3) The appropriate authority may issue a citation to the owner or, in the case of a leased vehicle, the lessee of the vehicle involved, on the basis of this information.  The owner or lessee shall not be cited if the vehicle is stolen, or if another driver is cited for the violation.

 

(4)(a) Any person who is found guilty of or pleads guilty or nolo contendere to a violation of the provisions of this Subsection shall be subject to the following penalties:

 

(i) If the violation does not result in the injury, serious bodily injury, or death of another person, the offender shall be fined not less than one hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both, in accordance with the provisions of R.S. 32:398.2 and shall have his driver's license suspended in accordance with the provisions of R.S. 32:414(A)(2).

 

(ii) If the violation results in the injury of another person, the offender shall be fined not less than two hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars and may be subjected to a driver's license suspension for a period up to ninety days, or both.

 

(iii) If the violation results in the serious bodily injury of another person, the offender shall be fined not less than five hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars and may be subjected to a driver's license suspension of a period up to one hundred eighty days, or both.

 

(iv) If the violation results in the death of another person, the offender shall be fined not less than one thousand dollars nor more than five thousand dollars and may be subjected to a driver's license suspension for the greater of a period up to three hundred sixty days or as provided in R.S. 32:414(A)(2), or both.

 

(b) In addition to the fines and penalties set forth in Items (a)(ii), (iii), and (iv) of this Paragraph, whoever is responsible for these violations shall be subject to the following penalties:

 

(i) If the violation results in the injury of another person, the offender may be imprisoned for not more than six months.

 

(ii) If the violation results in serious bodily injury of another person as defined in Subparagraph (c) of this Paragraph, the offender may be subjected to imprisonment up to six months.

 

(iii) If the violation results in the death of another person, the offender may be subject to imprisonment up to twelve months.

 

(c) For purposes of this Paragraph, "serious bodily injury" shall mean a bodily injury which involves unconsciousness, extreme physical pain, or protracted and obvious disfigurement, protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member, organ, or mental faculty, or a substantial risk of death.

 

B. (1) Every school bus used for the transportation of school children shall bear upon the front and rear thereof the words "SCHOOL BUS" in black letters not less than eight inches in height placed as high as possible without impairment of visibility, and no other lettering shall be visible from the front or rear except the words "emergency exit" shall be painted in black letters at least two inches in height and approximately located near such exit.

 

(2)(a) In addition, every school bus shall be equipped with visual signs and signals as required in R.S. 32:318.  Such signs and signals shall be activated by the driver of said school bus under and only under one of the following conditions:

 

(i) Such vehicle is stopped or is about to stop on the roadway for the purpose of receiving or discharging school children.

 

(ii) Though not receiving or discharging school children, the bus is stopped or is about to stop because it meets or is following another bus that has such signs and signals activated.

 

(b) The driver of any school bus equipped only with signal lamps as provided in R.S. 32:318(B)(1) shall activate such lamps at least one hundred feet, but not more than five hundred feet, before every stop for which activation is required and upon stopping shall exhibit the semaphore sign or signs provided for in R.S. 32:318(B)(2) and upon resuming motion shall deactivate both the lamps and the semaphore sign or signs.  The driver of any school bus equipped with signal lamps as provided in R.S. 32:318(B)(4) shall activate the yellow (amber) lights at least one hundred feet, but not more than five hundred feet, before every stop for which activation is required, shall deactivate these lamps upon stopping, shall exhibit the red flashing lamps and semaphore sign or signs while stopped, and upon resuming motion shall deactivate both the lamps and the semaphore sign or signs.

 

C. The driver of a vehicle upon a highway with separate roadways need not stop upon meeting or passing a school bus which is on a different roadway or when upon a controlled access highway and the school bus is stopped in a loading zone which is a part of or adjacent to such highway and where pedestrians are not permitted to cross the roadway.

 

D. When, if, and on the date that the Department of Transportation and Development develops, adopts, and promulgates guidelines to establish school bus loading zones pursuant to Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 9 of the 1983 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature, the requirements of Subsection A of this Section regarding a vehicle stopping on a highway when meeting or overtaking a school bus and regarding the driver of a school bus activating the visual signs and signals shall be effective when a school bus stops on the shoulder of a highway for the purpose of receiving or discharging any school children as provided in the guidelines.

 

Acts 1962, No. 310, § 1.  Amended by Acts 1974, No. 342, § 1;  Acts 1976, No. 383, § 1;  Acts 1977, No. 262, § 1, eff. July 7, 1977;  Acts 1982, No. 140, § 1;  Acts 1983, No. 503, § 1;  Acts 1983, No. 568, § 1;  Acts 1984, No. 626, § 1;  Acts 1986, No. 125, § 1;  Acts 1986, No. 393, § 1;  Acts 1986, No. 720, § 1;  Acts 1987, No. 709, § 1;  Acts 2004, No. 208, § 1;  Acts 2007, No. 60, § 1;  Acts 2012, No. 259, § 1.