Written by: Reginald C. Hair
It is 7:00 AM on a Tuesday morning in August. You are late for work for the second time this week. To add insult to injury, there is a stopped school bus in front of you. Are you legally able to pass this school bus?
South Carolina has implemented certain laws to protect children that are on their way to school or back home from school. Please be mindful of what is considered breaking the law and what it not breaking the law when it comes to passing school busses.
- Two-Lane Road
- If you are traveling on a road that only has two lanes—one lane in each direction—you are required to stop for school buses no matter what side of the road you are on. You cannot pass the bus until the bus starts moving again.
- Multi-Lane Road
- When traveling in the same direction as the school bus on a multi-lane highway, you have to stop for the school bus if the bus is in front of you. However, if you are traveling on a multi-lane highway and traveling in the opposite direction of the school bus, you are not required to stop. Nonetheless, you should proceed with caution, and always slow down when you see a school bus.
Drivers should be alert at all times, watching each child as he/she gets off the bus. Children frequently run across roadways. It is never a good idea for parents to assume that drivers will do the right thing. Please encourage your children to look both ways before crossing the road.
Some school buses now have video cameras that are affixed to the side of the bus. Tickets can be issued based on video surveillance in whole or in part. Any driver that passes a bus unlawfully is guilty of a misdemeanor and must be fined not less than five hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than thirty days, pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. § 56-5-2780. If great bodily injury or death occurs to a child as a result of unlawfully passing a stopped school bus, the motorist will be found guilty of a felony.
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Reginald Hair is an associate attorney at the Solomon Law Group and has worked for one of the largest personal injury law firms in South Carolina. He has solely practiced personal injury law since 2016.
Carl Solomon is a member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum® and has received the coveted AV Peer Review Rating™ from Martindale-Hubble®. He has also been recognized by Super Lawyers® and Best Lawyers in America®. He is the founder of the Solomon Law Group, LLC, which represents clients throughout South Carolina.
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