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EXPLAINER: When to stop for a school bus in South Carolina

With school starting back across the state, the South Carolina Highway Patrol is trying to make...
With school starting back across the state, the South Carolina Highway Patrol is trying to make sure drivers know when the law requires them to stop for a school bus.
Published: Aug. 12, 2021 at 10:32 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - The South Carolina Highway Patrol is urging drivers to make sure they know when the law requires them to stop for a school bus.

In a video released by the agency, Trooper Joe Hovis says on two-lane roads, all drivers are required to stop when a school bus activates its red flashing lights and stop sign, regardless of the direction they’re traveling.

“Where people usually get confused is when they see a stopped school bus on a multi-lane roadway,” Hovis says in the video.

A multi-lane roadway is one with three or more lanes.

“When you see a stopped school bus on a multi-lane roadway, you always stop with the school bus if you’re traveling in the same direction as the bus,” Hovis says. “All traffic on the opposite side is never required to stop regardless of the type of median.”

When a school bus uses flashing yellow lights, that means the bus is preparing to stop to load or unload children. Drivers should slow down and prepare to stop their vehicles, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says.

When a school bus uses red flashing lights and extended stop arms, that indicates the bus has stopped and children are getting on or off. Drivers must stop their cars and wait until the red lights stop flashing, the extended stop-arm is withdrawn, and the bus begins moving before they can start driving again.

The South Carolina Department of Public Safety released this graphic to show when drivers are...
The South Carolina Department of Public Safety released this graphic to show when drivers are required to stop for a school bus.(South Carolina Department of Public Safety)

The Highway patrol says young children are quick and often unaware of potential danger. Most crashes involving young children happen between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.

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