Motorists must stop for stopped school buses
Vance County Schools is joining public school systems across North Carolina in asking motorists to abide by the stop signs on school buses and to stop their vehicles completely while students board and get off of school buses.
The school system has approximately 85 school buses, which travel Vance County streets and roadways each morning and afternoon on school days to transport more than 4,000 students to and from school. While school officials don’t see a large number of instances when motorists fail to stop for a stopped school bus, there are times when motorists do not stop. It only takes one instance of a motorist failing to stop for a stopped school bus for a tragedy to occur and a student to get hit by a moving vehicle.
Motorists must not only stop on public roadways for a stopped school bus, they also must stop for a stopped school bus in a parking lot, including the parking lot around the school and a shopping center or business.
In 2011, the North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety Program funded a pilot program to implement seven external video camera systems on school buses in five districts to crack down on motorists passing stopped school buses. In 2013, the North Carolina General Assembly appropriated funds to expand this program statewide.
Because of this program, there are now at least two school buses equipped with a stop arm camera system operating in nearly every school district in the state. In light of an increase in distracted driving in recent years, it is very important — particularly at the beginning of the school year — to continue to caution all motorists to pay attention, especially around school buses.