Rant Mode On: Passing Stopped School Buses

Rant Mode: ON.

There are some things in this world that really set my hair on fire. Watching people blow by a stopped school bus is one of them. I’ve watched people speed through my neighborhood and I yell at them to slow down nearly every day as I drop off and pick up my son from the bus stop. Often times I see that it is a parent in their mini-van, with their kids inside, blazing up my street doing 45 in a 25.  Somehow, that’s worse.

Just last week, I watched a car slow down a bit but roll right on by my son’s stopped bus. I wasn’t able to grab the plate number due to my vantage point.  I don’t believe my son’s bus has a camera either.

Dear drivers,
When you see an emergency vehicle with its lights on, you slow down and even pull over. You know it is important and you know the law.  A school bus stopped is JUST as important and also it is the law.  So, please – SLOW THE HELL DOWN AND STOP.

WFMYNEWS2 has an article about just this very thing – blowing past stopped school buses.

The WFMY article notes a problem with the current laws that are allowing for thousands of people who blow by stopped buses to essentially get away with it. There’s an issue with nailing these drivers who blow by the buses that do have cameras. Excerpt:

“2 Wants to Know discovered even if a driver is caught on camera passing a stopped bus, the video might not make a difference.

The cameras see almost everything. The stop arm out. The car passing and the driver’s license plate.

But it often does not capture the driver’s face clearly.

And state law says even with a license plate number, if you don’t have enough to identify the driver, you can’t expect a conviction.”

If you continue reading, you’ll find that these cameras are paid for by fines for breaking the law which, due to the law itself, are not being enforced. Awesome.

The law being referenced is the Nicolas Adkins School Bus Safety Act.
This act was House Bill 440 and was passed in 2009 and signed into law by Governor Perdue.

There are other school bus safety acts out there though. Here is the list of school bus safety related acts in North Carolina going back to 2005:

2005 – House Bill 1400; session law 2005-204

2007 – Senate Bill 924; session law 2007-382.

2009 – Senate Bill 440; session law 2009-147.

2013 – Senate Bill 428; session law 2013-293.

About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a reporter currently writing at The North State Journal. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_ Tips: APDillon@Protonmail.com
This entry was posted in A.P. Dillon (LL1885), EDUCATION, NCGA. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Rant Mode On: Passing Stopped School Buses

  1. Missouri Bus says:

    It really upsets me when someone passes a stopped schools bus. It only takes one minute to stop and wait. Innocent children could get hurt because someone is selfish and fails to follow the law.


  2. Jason Oesterreich says:

    How about people start taking their own children to school and we taxpayers stop paying for transportation all together; then we don’t have to worry about it. It’s already a pretty great deal to get a free education, now we have to pay to transport them to school, and pay for them to learn sports, and pay for them to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. How about parents take responsibility for the children they choose to have. Oh great, more cameras for the government to watch us. More government is needed to transport your kids to school leading to more government cameras to watch us while they take your kids to school. Great.


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  4. Nate says:

    I drove school bus for 13 years. In our district, you needed a lot more than an ID on the driver to get a conviction; you needed make, model, and color of the vehicle, approximate age and gender of the driver, number of passengers in the vehicle, weather conditions, road conditions, time of day when the infraction occurred, and ‘Was the stop arm COMPLETELY EXTENDED and was the bus COMPLETELY STOPPED when this occurred?’ – and that’s an abbreviated list. We had drivers going to the PD and asking, ‘What, you don’t want us to blood-test them for alcohol, too?’

    And as for pulling to the shoulder for a break, we’d turn on our hazard lights (the yellow flashers). We’d get more people stopping for those than for the reds.


  5. I remember way back in the late 90’s, I was going back to work with BellSouth Mobility next to Chucky Cheese’s on Capital in Raleigh, and was driving down Green Road. Most know to NEVER EVER speed. Well, there was this school bus stopped right where the road splits with a grassy median, letting kids off. Those kids walk across the road, and grassy medians do not divide the road. Lady in a minivan blew by going the other way. Kids in other side of road. She got pulled.

    Talked to the cop who came in to pay his bill, said she talked herself, by being very abusive, into not just failing to stop for a school bus and speeding, but reckless endangerment, as well.

    I know if I don’t get out the door before the school bus comes around at, typically, 802am, I am going to be stuck behind it for awhile, making my work trek last about 8 minutes longer.


  6. bydesign001 says:

    We used to have a problem here in New York City with vehicles blowing by school buses as students disembarked. Now I find that we are on the other side of the spectrum both of which can transform the most docile being into a raving maniac.

    Here in New York City I have noticed school buses carrying no students pulling over (well some take the time to pull over while many others don’t bother) to chat with the buddies, to run into the house for a bathroom break or as witnessed a week ago, knock on the door of a love interest, wait for said individual to step aside and hold a ten plus minute chat.

    Had I not seen the latter, I would not have believed it.

    Once drivers realized what the bus driver was up to and that there were no school children on the bus, two or three left their cars to address bus driver who could care less. Next move, a whole lot of beeping horns and screaming New Yorkers, the girlfriend of the school bus driver being one of them because well…..her conversation was interrupted.

    It seems that she expected traffic now backed up two plus blocks in both directions to just wait.


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