A recent article talked about how there is a low conviction rate for those who illegally pass a stopped school bus. Unfortunately, in one day, there were 80 people who passed school buses in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools alone. Statewide, there were over 3,200 people who passed a stopped school bus that day. Because of lack of funds, many school buses are not mounted with camera systems, which would catch the offenders. Even though only a small number of offenders are convicted, illegally passing a school bus can put children’s lives in danger. If convicted, you will get five points on your license, your insurance will go up significantly, you will lose your license for a year, and you could get a $500 fine. Here are some tips to help you avoid those consequences:
- According to North Carolina law, when traveling on a two-lane or four-lane road without a median separation, all vehicles going both directions should stop for the bus.
- When traveling on a highway with four or more lanes, if there is a median separating traffic or a center turning lane, only traffic traveling in the same direction as the bus needs to stop.
- Generally speaking, if the red light is flashing or the “stop” sign is outstretched, vehicles need to stop. A police officer or a bus driver may be able to wave you through, but this is rare.
- Once the bus driver has pulled in the sign and the red lights have stopped flashing, traffic can move forward. If in doubt whether you can move forward, wait for the bus to start moving.
- Even if the red lights are not flashing but you are nearing a school bus stop, we aware of children who may dart in front of your vehicle with little or no warning. Be ready to stop for them.
- If you are going to be traveling in other states, make sure you are aware of that state’s laws regarding passing a stopped school bus. Some states have slightly different regulations.
Unfortunately, even if you are working to drive safely and obey traffic laws, not everyone on the road is as courteous to other drivers and pedestrians. If you were hurt in a car accident, contact us. An accident attorney can provide you with a free case evaluation.