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'When you see those lights go ahead and start slowing down' | Back-to-school traffic reminders

Do you know the rules of the road when it comes to stopping for school buses?

GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. — When the first day of school rolls around, it typically means some extra traffic returns, too. Law enforcement shares a few traffic reminders with drivers now that school is back in session.

Lt. Jeffrey Crouse is with the High Point Police Department Traffic Unit. He said drivers pass stopped school busses multiple times a day, every day. It's a hefty fine if you get caught, but it is also a risk you don't want to take.

"The very least is you pass a stopped school bus, but the worst could be you strike, injure, or kill a child," Crouse said.

Crouse said drivers passing a stopped school bus is an offense that happens way too often.

RELATED: Parents anxious about COVID-19 ahead of Guilford County Schools' first day Monday

RELATED: Don't break the law: when to stop for a school bus

"When you see those lights go ahead and start slowing down, and be prepared to stop," Crouse said.

Crouse said it's also a violation the department does not take lightly.

"If it's a first-time offense it's a minimum of a $500 fine, and then if you're convicted of a second offense, the fine, I'm not sure the amount it goes up, but it goes up, and you lose your drivers license for one year," Crouse said.

North Carolina State Highway Patrol Master Trooper Brandon Baker said the law applies everywhere in the state.

"It's really just incumbent on every driver to treat each school bus like their kid is on it," Baker said.

As for a refresher on the rules for when a driver approaches a stopped school bus, Crouse explains.

RELATED: When To STOP For A School Bus

"If it’s four or more lanes, it has two lanes in each direction, and that has a center turn lane, then it’s just the traffic going the same direction as the bus has to stop, so if you’re behind the bus you have to stop," Crouse said. "If it is a four-lane roadway that has any type of median, whether it be a grass median, or concrete median, or a cable barrier, just the traffic going the direction of the bus has to stop. Pretty much anything else you have to stop no matter what way you’re going. If you’re behind the bus or approaching the bus from the front, you have to stop.”

Do you know the rules of the road when it comes to stopping for school buses? Here’s what you should do on the road when it comes to stopping for a school bus.

Two-lane roadway: 

When a school bus stops for passengers, all traffic from both directions must stop on a two-lane roadway.

Two-lane roadway with a center turning lane: 

When a school bus stops for passengers, all traffic from both directions must stop on a two-lane roadway with a center turning lane.

Four-lane roadway without a median separation: 

When a school bus stops for passengers, all traffic from both directions must stop on a four-lane roadway without a median separation.

Divided highway of four lanes or more with a median separation: 

When a school bus stops for passengers, only traffic following the bus must stop on a divided highway of four lanes or more with a median separation.

Roadway of four lanes or more with a center turning lane:

When a school bus stops for passengers, only traffic following the bus must stop with a roadway of four lanes or more with a center turning lane.

Click here, for a detailed diagram of when and if you need to stop for a stopped school bus.

Baker also shared some advice for parents. He said if your child rides the bus, it's important to teach them to stand away from the road and to not be distracted while waiting to be picked up.