When Should I Stop For A Stopped School Bus in NC?


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:

(a)   Driving

(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(g)   Before the bus’s mechanical stop signal has been withdrawn, the flashing red stoplights have been turned off and the bus has started to move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.


Wiley Nickel

Wiley Nickel lives and works in Cary, North Carolina. In 1998, he graduated from Tulane University with a major in Political Science and a minor in History. After college Wiley went to work for Al Gore and travelled with the Vice President as part of his national advance staff. Following the Gore campaign he earned his law degree from the Pepperdine University School of Law in 2005. While in law school Wiley worked as a law clerk in the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office where he gained valuable criminal trial experience before taking and passing the California bar exam. His first job out of law school was for the Merced County District Attorney’s Office where he worked as a Deputy District Attorney with a focus on prosecuting DWI offenders. Wiley later joined the Law Offices of Joseph Uremovic where he focused on civil litigation and family law. When the opportunity came to join the Obama campaign in 2008 Wiley jumped at the chance. He spent three years travelling with President Obama as a member of his national advance team. In 2011 Wiley left his work for the White House to return to the practice of law. Wiley devotes the majority of his practice to the areas of criminal law, family law, traffic tickets and DMV issues. The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel was started with the goal of providing the best representation possible for all of his clients. Experienced, Compassionate, Aggressive Criminal Defense While defense attorney Wiley Nickel works as the primary attorney for all of his cases, he does have an associate attorney, a team of investigators, forensic consultants, and support staff to call on to help achieve the best possible result in every case. He limits his case load so that he can focus on providing the best possible legal defense to all of his clients. Every case is a top priority and the goal is to have your case dismissed with a focus on being able to expunge your charges at the end of the process. When he is not working, Wiley is an avid family man, distance runner and golfer. He loves North Carolina college sports and is hoping this is the year for Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers. Wiley is licensed to practice law in North Carolina and California.