A School Bus, a Stop Sign, a Bike, and Me

I had a new experience today while riding my bike to campus. As I approached a two-way stop sign a school bus stopped on the other side of the intersection, lights flashing. I slowed down so that I would reach the intersection after the bus had left, but it tarried. The flashing lights shut off. The extended arm with the stop sign closed. Yet the bus did not move.

The bus had the right of way, it had been at the intersection before me. So I slowed to a virtual stop, waiting for the bus to go. The driver used her intercom instead, saying: “C’mon, let’s go!” So I waved and biked past the bus.

Meeting the bus made me wonder how Pennsylvania law regulates bicycle and school bus interaction. I’ve  never seen a bicyclist stop for a bus before. Of course I had to look this up.

According to what I found in Title 75 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes it seems a bicyclist should just assume normal rules of the road apply. Aside from the specific regulations regarding hand signals, basic safety, and navigating at slow speeds, there are few specified rules. Chapter 35, Section 3501 says:

Applicability of traffic laws to pedalcycles.

(a) General rule. — Every person riding a pedalcycle upon a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this title, except as to special provisions in this subchapter and except as to those provisions of this title which by their nature can have no application.

I fail to find any specific instructions for bicycles and school buses, so my understanding is that normal rules apply. This makes me wonder, if I biked past a stopped bus would I be in danger of the 5 point penalty on my driver’s license?

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