In 2022, North Carolina saw 1,075 school bus crashes. In those crashes, 786 people were injured and eight people died.
"Drivers carry the great responsibility of safely sharing our roads," said Captain Todd Harris, of the Chapel Hill Police Traffic Unit. "Slow down, put the phone down, and just focus on the road. The texts, emails, and calls can wait."
Bus, walk, bike, or family car, ABC11 has compiled some road rules, from various law enforcement agencies, for a safe arrival to school and a safe return home.
Riding the Bus - Bus stop safety tips
Arrive at the bus stop a few minutes early
Parents or a trusted adult should be at the bus stop every morning and afternoon
Stay out of the street and pay attention to your surroundings
Wait for the bus to come to a complete stop before getting on or off
Stay seated and keep your head and arms inside the bus at all times
Do not distract the bus driver
Drivers must stop for red, flashing lights and extended 'stop' arms
Pedestrians should walk on the sidewalk instead of the street
Drivers must never pass a vehicle stopped for pedestrians
Drivers should give school buses at least a 10-feet buffer
When to STOP for a school bus
Two-lane roadway - All traffic from both directions must stop
Two-lane with a center turning lane - All traffic from both directions must stop
Four-lane roadway - All traffic from both directions must stop
Four-lane roadway with a median - Only traffic following the bus must stop
Four or more lanes with a center turning lane - Only traffic following the bus must stop
Know the main THREE blind spots--Front, Side, Rear!
Here's where a bus driver can lose sight of a child:
FRONT - It's never safe to walk close to the front of the bus. Children should walk five giant steps ahead of the bus before crossing in front of it.
SIDE - Children should always stay three giant steps away from the side of the bus.
REAR - NEVER walk behind the school bus.
A driver in North Carolina can be fined a $500 for passing a stopped school bus and get a five-point penalty on their driver's license
A driver who passes a stopped school bus and hits someone will face a minimum of a $1,000 fine as it's a Class I felony
The penalty increases to a Class H felony and a fine of $2,500 if someone is killed
If your child walks to school, here are safety reminders
Always use the safest route and don't take shortcuts
Strengths in numbers: Try walking with other students and families
Use designated crosswalks
Always look both ways before crossing the street
Walk, never run across intersections
Never, ever get into a vehicle with anyone without a parent or guardian's permission
Biking to School
If your child's school allows them to ride their bike: