In July 2017, Roy Cooper signed the “School Bus Cameras and Civil Penalties” bill into law allowing individual counties to adopt ordinances and cite motorists by using cameras installed on the stop-arms of buses. The new law authorizes counties to adopt ordinances with civil penalties of $400 for the first offense, $750 for the second offense and $1,000 for a subsequent offense.
Passing or failing to stop for a stopped school bus is a Class 1 misdemeanor in North Carolina that can result in significant fines and the possibility of up to 120 days in jail. A person is guilty of this offense by:
(b) A vehicle
(c) Approaches from, any direction, on the same street, highway or public vehicular area
(d) A school bus
(e) That is displaying its mechanical stop signal or flashing red lights AND is stopped for the purpose of receiving or discharging passengers
(f) Passes or attempts to pass the school bus OR fails to bring the vehicle to a full stop and remain stopped
(g) Before the bus’s mechanical stop signal has been withdrawn, the flashing red stoplights have been turned off and the bus has started to move
In order to avoid such a charge, you should know the rules about when you should stop for a school bus:
· Two-lane roadway: all traffic from both directions must stop
· Two-lane roadway with a center turning lane: all traffic from both directions must stop
· Four-lane roadway without a median separation: all traffic from both directions must stop
· Divided Highway of four lanes or more with a median separation: only traffic following the school bus must stop
· Roadway of four lanes or more with a center turning lane: only traffic following the bus must stop
If you’ve been charged with Passing or Failing to Stop for a Stopped School Bus, give The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC a call to discuss the facts of your case at 919-585-1486. Attorney Kristi Haddock and Attorney Wiley Nickel are available for a free consultation.