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Safety on the School Bus: Sharing the Road


Riding the school bus is an essential aspect of many children’s everyday lives. Despite this, many individuals are unaware of how safe school buses are or how vital they are to communities. It’s difficult to justify sending children to school any other way because the school bus is the safest mode of transportation. That is why Daggett Shuler is working to raise awareness about the advantages of school buses and the importance of school bus safety.

The Big Yellow Bus: the Safest Form of Transportation on The Roads Today.

School buses have considerably higher minimum safety standards than passenger cars. The federal government has been enforcing laws to assist the school bus to preserve their precious cargo since 1966. As a result of collaboration between industry and government regulators, the school bus is the safest vehicle on the road. It also has a well-documented history of innovation and progress. Flashing red lights, cross-view mirrors, and stop arms are now standard on school buses. Their bright yellow color makes them extremely visible and they have protective seats, high crush requirements, and rollover protection features.

However, it is not simply the school bus’s design that makes it a safer alternative than driving children to school. School bus drivers receive extensive safety training, must pass driving and background checks, and are subjected to pre-employment and random drug and alcohol testing.

When The Lights Are Flashing, Don’t Try Passing.

In North Carolina, school bus safety is a top focus. The North Carolina School Bus Stop Law was enacted to safeguard children and improve traffic safety at school bus stops. The following motorists are obliged to stop for a school bus displaying its stop arm or flashing red lights under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 20-217:

  • On two-lane roads, drivers traveling in both directions must stop.
  • On two-lane roads with a center turning lane, drivers traveling in both directions must come to a stop.
  • On four-lane streets without a median separation, drivers traveling in both directions must come to a complete stop.

On split four-lane highways with a median separation, cars are permitted to pass a school bus displaying its stop arm or flashing red lights under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 20-217. On four-lane highways with a center turning lane, however, cars going in the opposite direction from the school bus are not obligated to stop. Nevertheless, a driver still has an obligation to drive cautiously and keep an eye out for children crossing the road. A motorist’s failure to maintain this level of caution is considered carelessness.

What is the Punishment for Passing a School Bus in N.C.?

Unlawfully passing a school bus is a Class I misdemeanor in North Carolina. The minimum penalty that can be imposed on a motorist is $500.00 and five points on their license.

Drive Safe. Drive Smart.

Every day, almost 26 million children rely on school buses to travel to and from school. Students, parents, teachers, administrators, transportation staff, and the general public all play critical responsibilities in keeping our children safe when riding on or being around a school bus.

At Daggett Shuler, we support the needs of the Triad because we are proud members of the community. If you or someone you love was involved in a school bus-related accident, contact us for a FREE case evaluation. Call us at 1-800-815-5500 or submit the form below.

I would like to take time to thank the staff at Daggett Shuler Attorneys at Law. To Megan Youngblood for helping me get my disability started; thank you so much for everything!

Olivia Winston