Lights flash on buses to warn motorists that buses are picking up and dropping off children.
Drivers should look out for children who are crossing the road or waiting to cross.
By law, a 40km/h speed limit applies when bus lights flash.
The speed limit is for all traffic travelling in the same direction as the bus, whether the bus is stationary or moving.
Lights begin to flash when the bus stops and the doors open, and they keep flashing for about 20 seconds after the doors close.
Children are most at risk in the minutes after they get off the bus.
Young children are often unpredictable in their movements.
They are still developing the skills that help them to judge the direction of sound and the speed and distance of vehicles.
We know that because of their sheer size and mass, buses can cause severe outcomes for other road users in crashes.
Motorists can help reduce the risk of a crash and keep children safe by:
- Slowing down to 40km/h when bus lights are flashing.
- Looking out for children crossing the road near bus stops, in school zones or along bus routes.
- Giving way to buses when they merge back into traffic.
In rural and regional areas, drivers must take extra care when driving past bus stops or along bus routes. Be aware of children crossing the road and slow down to 40km/h when bus lights flash. A stationary bus can impede your view of children near the bus.
Informal bus stops found in rural areas are often not signposted. They may be at the front of a property or on the side of the road.
Drivers may find it difficult to see children at informal bus stops, but he rules are still the same. The driver approaching from the rear must slow to 40km/h if the bus had flashing lights activated, regardless of whether the bus is stationary or moving.
The fines for breaching this offences can be up to $2482.