Back to School Safety Tips
North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) offers students a few basic rules of safety as they head back to school.
- Always walk on the sidewalk; if there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic and as far from the road as you can.
- Be careful when crossing multiple lanes of traffic. Make sure each lane of traffic is clear before you cross.
- Be predictable to drivers and follow the rules of the road - obey signs and signals.
- Cross the street where you have the best view of traffic.
- Look for cars in all directions - including those turning left or right—before crossing the street; never assume a driver will stop.
- Pay attention to where you’re walking and take the focus off your cell phone or other electronic device. A moment of distraction could have disastrous consequences.
- Cross in the crosswalk.
NCDOT reminds motorists of these basic driving tips as the new school year approaches: Always stop for a stopped school bus. If the lights are flashing and the stop sign is out, you must stop, including in the following situations:
- If you are traveling a 2-lane road, all traffic in both directions must stop.
- If you are traveling a 2-lane road with a center turn lane, all traffic from both directions must stop.
- If you are traveling a 4-lane road without a median separation, all traffic from both directions must stop.
- If you are traveling a divided highway of four lanes or more with a median separation, only traffic following the bus must stop.
- If you are traveling a road with 4 or more lanes with a center turn lane, only traffic following the bus must stop.
- Be prepared to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.
- Never pass a vehicle that is stopped for pedestrians.
- Before making a turn, be sure the path is clear of any pedestrians.
- Slow down in areas where you are likely to find pedestrians, such as near bus stops, schools and playgrounds.
- Avoid distractions such as food, passengers and using mobile devices.
North Carolina has stiff penalties for motorists who fail to comply with school bus safety rules.
- There is a $500 penalty for motorists who are caught passing a stopped school bus, with the possibility of license revocation.
- There is a $250 penalty for speeding in a school zone in North Carolina.
- Passing a stopped school bus can cost motorists five points on their driver’s license and 8 points for commercial vehicles.