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School is starting and that means more buses will be on the roads and more children will be walking and biking. It’s critical that drivers know the rules of the road to keep everyone safe.

On average, there are nearly 3,000 incidents of cars passing stopped school buses every school day in North Carolina. This is not just dangerous for students; it’s also against the law.

At the school, be sure to pay attention while driving so you’ll see when a child is being dropped off or picked up. Remember to never pass a vehicle that is stopped for pedestrians, and always stop and yield to pedestrians crossing the crosswalk or intersection in a school zone when flashers are blinking.

School Bus Passing Laws

It’s important that we all share the road with school buses. Give each bus plenty of space and know the rules for passing them on various types of roads.
•    On a two-lane road, all traffic from both directions must stop;
•    On a two-lane road with a center turning lane, all traffic must come to a stop;
•    On a four-lane road without a median, traffic from both directions must stop;
•    In the case of a divided highway with four or more lanes, only traffic following the school bus needs to stop; and
•    When on a road with four lanes or more with a center turning lane, just traffic following the bus must stop.

Penalties for passing a stopped school bus include a $500 fine and an additional four insurance points, which could increase insurance rates by 80 percent. It’s vital that drivers also slow down and obey the posted speed limit in a school zone – a child’s life could depend on it.

For more information about NCDOT Now, contact the NCDOT Communications Office at (919) 707-2660. Additional news stories from throughout the week can be found on NCDOT.gov.

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