§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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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.(1) 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.
(2) A highway with one lane in each direction and with a dedicated two-way left-turn
lane shall not be considered a divided highway with separate roadways for purposes of this
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, eff. May 1, 1984; Acts 1984, No. 626, §1; Acts 1986, No. 393,
§1; Acts 1986, No. 720, §1; Acts 1986, No. 125, §1; Acts 1987, No. 709, §1; Acts 2004, No.
208, §1; Acts 2007, No. 60, §1; Acts 2012, No. 259, §1; Acts 2016, No. 535, §1.