With Hudson Valley kids going back to school and busses hitting the streets this week, you may want to make sure you're following the law. Here are five school bus rules you may not know.

In New York State you must stop for a school bus that is flashing red lights even if it's on the opposite side of a divided highway.
This is the number one rule that most drivers fail to follow. New York is one of the only states in America that makes it illegal for drivers to pass a school bus even if it's across a divided road. That means on roads like Route 211 or Route 9 you must always stop, even if you're on the opposite side of traffic. Of course, school children would never walk across a divided highway; but that doesn't matter. If you fail to stop your car on the opposite side of the highway you may possibly get a ticket.

When stopping for a bus you must be at least 20 feet away.
Stopping too close to a school bus is also against the law in New York. Your car must remain a minimum of 20 feet from the back or front of a school bus when stopping. If you're any closer, you could get a ticket.

Even after students leave the bus and the doors close you still may not be able to legally pass.
The law is very clear when it says no cars may pass a school bus while the red lights are flashing. Even if it's obvious that all children have left the bus and are safely in their homes you still cannot pass if the bus' lights continue to flash. Sometimes bus drivers may be disciplining students or checking on something inside the bus. If they leave their lights on by mistake you'll just have to wait until they are done or risk a ticket.

A bus driver can override flashing red lights.
Bus drivers have the authority to wave cars past a bus that is stopped. If you get a visual OK from the driver you are allowed to proceed. However, you're going to want to make 100% sure that the driver is telling you to pass, otherwise you will be breaking the law.

First time offenders are in for a big fine, points and maybe even jail time.
If you fail to follow the traffic laws for school busses you first offenders could receive fines from $250 to $400. In addition, you'll get an automatic five points on your license and could possibly serve 30 days in jail.

So how many of these rules did you know? Drive safe this school year and watch out for those flashing red lights.