ASHEBORO N.C. – With the start of the school year approaching, school buses will be back on the roads soon. Do you know when you are required to stop for a bus?
When to stop
- 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
Passing a Stopped School Bus is a Crime
While most traffic violations in North Carolina are infractions, passing a stopped school bus is a crime under NC § 20-217.
Passing a stopped School Bus is a class 1 misdemeanor with a maximum punishment being 120 days in jail. Don’t think you’ll slip out of that charge either, under NC law, drivers who pass a stopped school bus are not eligible for a prayer for judgment.
Also, get ready to pay. The fine is up to almost $800 when court costs are included and a conviction comes with 5 points on your driver’s license and 4 points on your insurance, which would result in higher premiums of up to 80% for three years.
If a driver strikes a person or student while passing a stopped school bus the crime becomes a Class I felon, with fines between $1,250 and $2,500.
A second conviction for passing a stopped school bus within three years results in a one-year revocation of your North Carolina driver’s license.