School bus safety: When it is legal to pass a stopped school bus

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To avoid tragic school bus accidents, NCDOT reminds drivers of the rules of the road.

School bus drivers report millions of illegal passes every school year.

Those illegal passes are dangerous and can sometimes turn fatal, as was the case in Indiana on Tuesday. A driver hit three siblings at a bus stop; all three of the children died.

To avoid tragic school bus accidents like that, North Carolina Department of Transportation reminds drivers of the rules of the road.

Passing a stopped school bus is illegal.

Gov. Roy Cooper signed a law in July 2017 allowing local governments to place video cameras on the outside of school buses to catch drivers dangerously passing.

In different driving scenarios, different rules apply for stopped school buses. The following list should help clarify every scenario.
  • Two-lane road: All traffic must stop.
  • Two-lane road with center turning lane: All traffic must stop.
  • Four-lane road without a median: All traffic must stop.
  • Road with four or more lanes and a median: Only traffic going the same direction as the school bus must stop.
  • Road with four or more lanes and a center turning lane: Only traffic going the same direction as the school bus must stop.
Related Topics:
educationschool bustrafficstudent safetyNC
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