Yellow, or amber, lights mean caution.
When amber lights begin flashing on top of a school bus, they mean that the school bus is slowing down and preparing to stop. You must proceed with caution and watch for children by the side of the road. Remember, children are often unpredictable and may not see you coming. They could run into the road at any time.
In general, you are not prohibited from pass a school bus in this situation, even if it should be avoided. When passing the bus, your view to the sides is limited. Children may attempt to cross the road close to the bus.
Stay alert, if you have already started to pass.
Some states specifically require you to slow down when passing or overtaking the bus. In South Dakota and Iowa you may not exceed 20 mph in this situation. Utah law says you “shall slow the vehicle, but may proceed past the school bus using due care and caution at a speed not greater than specified for school zones for the safety of the school children that may be in the vicinity”.
South Carolina does not Allow Passing
In South Carolina you must always stop when overtaking a school bus flashing red or amber lights.
Photo credit: Anton Novikov