JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – October 16-20 is National School Bus Safety Week. School districts throughout Eastern North Carolina want to remind drivers to be cautious on the roads.
School buses are the safest mode of transportation for students going to and from school, but drivers need to know the rules of the road to keep everyone safe. Onslow County Schools operates around 225 buses to transport over 13,000 students throughout the district.
“We should always remember students are a priority for keeping safe, so anytime you see school buses on the road, know there’s gonna be children around, so always keep your eyes open,” said the Director of Transportation for Onslow County Schools, James Haas.
Drivers should always stop for buses on a two-lane road, but on a four-lane road with a median or center turn lane, only the side the bus is on has to stop.
“Whenever a student is boarding or offloading a bus, they should be looking at the driver for hand signals, letting them know that it is safe to cross the road if they do have to cross the road at a stop,” said Haas.
Officials warn that drivers should be cautious of the bus stop arms.
“We have had several buses have their stop arms passed, we’ve had a few stop arms hit,” said Haas. “Of course we do call law enforcement, we turn the video over to them, for them to follow through prosecution.”
He added to be aware of train track crossings as well.
“We have had a couple of buses hit at railroad tracks. Buses are required by law to stop at all railroad tracks,” he said.
Officials remind drivers that passing a stopped school bus is a minimum $500 fine. If it happens again within the next 3 years, your license will be revoked.