DCS Transportation Department would like to remind all drivers of the current laws regarding stopped school buses.
The penalty for passing a stopped school bus increased in 2005 from a Class 2 misdemeanor to a Class I misdemeanor; violating this law and willfully striking a person causing serious bodily injury is now a Class I felony. The penalty includes five insurance points, which means a 90 percent increase in auto insurance rates for three years, a $200 fine and a maximum of 90 days in jail. The North Carolina Highway Patrol and other law enforcement agencies are taking extra steps to make sure people obey this law.
North Carolina law requires motorists approaching a stopped school bus from any direction to come to a complete stop while the bus is displaying its mechanical stop arm and flashing red stop lights. The motorist must remain stopped until the bus's stop arm has been withdrawn, the flashing red lights have been turned off, and the bus has started to move.
North Carolina General Statute (G.S..) 20-217. Motor vehicles must stop for properly marked and designated school buses in certain instances.
This law states “the driver of any vehicle upon approaching from any direction on the same street or highway, or public vehicular area ANY SCHOOL BUS (including privately owned buses transporting children and school buses transporting senior citizens under G.S.115C-243), while the bus is displaying its mechanical stop signal or flashing red stoplights, and who is stopped for the purpose of receiving or discharging passengers, shall bring the vehicle to a full stop before passing or attempting to pass the bus, and shall remain stopped until the mechanical stop signal has withdrawn, the flashing red stoplights have been turned off, and the bus has moved on.”
“… the driver of a vehicle traveling in the opposite direction from the school bus, upon any road, highway or city street which has been divided into two roadways, so constructed as to separate vehicular traffic between the two roadways by an intervening space (including a center lane for left turns if the roadway consists of at least four more lanes, example, US 158 By-pass) or by a physical barrier, need not stop upon meeting and passing any school bus which has stopped upon meeting and passing any school bus which has stopped in the roadway across such dividing space or physical barrier.
Click here for http://www.ncbussafety.org/SBSWlaw.html " >visual information on the law.