CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - As thousands of school buses are expected to hit the road, troopers in North Carolina are emphasizing school bus safety.
Troopers say they are increasing their focus around school zones and monitoring driving behavior before and after school.
“Motorists are required to stop when a school bus is displaying its mechanical stop signal or flashing red lights and the bus is stopped for the purpose of receiving or discharging passengers. The driver of any other vehicle that approaches the school bus from any direction on the same street, highway, or public vehicular area shall bring that other vehicle to a full stop and shall remain stopped,” Highway Patrol says, citing state law.
Troopers will be riding on various school buses across North Carolina as districts start back. Emphasis will be placed in ensuring motorists stop for school buses.
“The primary focus of every student across our state should be on education,” said Colonel Glenn McNeill Jr., commander of the State Highway Patrol. “Our mission is simple; ensure that focus does not waiver due to safety concerns while traveling to and from school.”
Troopers encourage motorists to follow these suggestions during morning and afternoon travel:
- Plan ahead for potential delays between the hours of 6 - 3 a.m. and 2 - 4 p.m.
- Never pass a stopped school bus under any circumstance
- Reduce speeds when approaching school zones
- Avoid driving distracted
- Be mindful of school bus stops along chosen routes
- Stay alert in and around school zones for pedestrians and crossing guards
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools students will head back Monday, Aug. 26.
Other school districts starting back Aug. 26 include those in Alexander County, Burke County, Cabarrus County, Caldwell County, Catawba County, Cleveland County, Gaston County, Hickory, Newton-Conover, Stanly County, and Union County.
Mooresville Graded District and Rowan-Salisbury Schools started class earlier than usual this year. Mooresville Graded District students started back August 6.
South Carolina school districts start back Monday, Aug. 19, including Chester County Schools, Clover School District, Fort Mill School District, Chesterfield County Schools, Lancaster County Schools, Rock Hill Schools, York County District One and Watauga County Schools.
Motorists can report dangerous drivers by dialing *HP (*47).