Drivers, as school starts back up don't forget the school bus traffic rules

Photo: NC Department of Transportation 

It is back to school time here in the Carolinas, meaning drivers will be seeing much more school buses on the roads.

Numerous children will be out early in the morning waiting for their buses, and they are eager to get home in the afternoon. While we all learned the rules when we received our drivers’ licenses about when to stop for a school bus (at least, let’s hope we learned those rules), a refresher around this time of year is always a good idea.

According to North and South Carolina law, if you’re traveling in the same direction of a school bus and it stops, you must also stop if you’re behind it or on the side of it. The same rule applies if you are traveling in the opposite direction in a two-lane or multi-lane road.

The only time you don’t have to stop for a school bus is if you’re heading in the opposite direction and there is an unpaved surface such as a grassy median, a raised median or a physical barrier, separating, such as a grassy median, a raised median or a physical barrier, separating the roads. It has to be at least five feet.

Check out School Bus Fines by State

If you pass a school bus in North Carolina, it’s a Class 1 misdemeanor with a minimum fine of $500. For a second offense that occurs within three years of the previous one, your license will be revoked for one year. Five points will also be assessed against your driving record. 

In South Carolina, it's a misdemeanor. Your first offense is a fine of at least $500 or imprisonment of 30 days or community service for up to 10 days. For a second or any subsequent violation, a fine of $2,000 up to $5,000 or imprisonment of 30 days up to 60 days. Six points will also be assessed against your driving record. 

For more information on North Carolina School Bus Stop Law, please click here.