As children across the state of North Carolina begin heading back to school, there are important safety tips motorists need to be reminded of. Here is what you need to know about NC school zone laws and rules to abide by when driving near a school bus.
Speeding in a School Zone
With a new school year, many of us find ourselves in a rush to get from one place to another. However, there is a price to pay for those who speed in a school zone. According to North Carolina General Statute §20-141.1, a person who drives at a greater speed than the speed limit set and posted in a school zone is responsible for an infraction and is required to pay a penalty of two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00).
In North Carolina, school zones are designated by either (1) a sign giving notice of the school zone, the authorized speed limit, and the hours in which the lower speed is enforced, or (2) a sign with an authorized speed limit that is indicated by an electronic flasher that is operated with a time clock. The speed in schools zones is only enforceable on days when school is in session, and it may not fall below 20 mph.
Stopping for School Buses
Under North Carolina General Statute §20-217, you are not permitted to pass a school bus that is stopped with its red lights flashing. You must instead come to a complete stop, not moving again until the school bus’ mechanical stop signal has been turned and withdrawn, or when the flashing red stoplights are turned off and the bus resumes driving.
In order to prevent an accident, it is critical all drivers remain very alert; not engaging in any distracting activity such as texting, posting on social media, or making phone calls. Additionally, it is important that drivers leave space around a stopped bus since the area 10 feet around a school bus is the most dangerous for kids.
Anyone who violates NC school bus laws will be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor. Those who willfully violate the laws and hit someone with their vehicle or kill someone with their vehicle are guilty of a Class I felony and Class H felony respectively.
Follow School Zone Rules
To keep school zones safe for your kids, it is key that you remember the following things when driving them to school:
- Do not double park
- Do not stop on the crosswalks
- Do not stop on the opposite side of the street when letting children out
- Do not stop in moving traffic
Henson Fuerst Can Help
If your child has been injured in a bus or pedestrian accident, it can have a profound impact on many aspects of life. You and your family should not have to pay for the careless mistakes of someone else.
The experienced North Carolina personal injury lawyers can help you to navigate the legal system and help to secure the compensation you need. At Henson Fuerst, we fight for what serves you best. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, call us at 919-781-1107 today!