Asheville City & Buncombe County school buses are back on the road, so be especially careful during your morning & afternoon commute. It's been 11 weeks since children have been crossing streets, waiting at bus stops, & hopping on & off of school buses.
WHAT IS THE LAW?
When a bus is stopped to pick up children, the law requires motorists to stop if they are traveling in the same direction as the bus. Motorists are also required to stop if they are traveling in the opposite direction of the bus - unless the road is divided by a physical barrier, wall or median, or it's a four-lane highway divided by a center-turn lane.
KNOW THE FACTS, & THE ODDS
Buncombe County operates the 8th largest school bus transportation system in NC, including service for Asheville City Schools. Each school day 292 school buses travel nearly 16,600 miles of roads in Buncombe County/Asheville City, & transport over 16,500 students.
In a one-day stop arm count last school year, bus drivers reported 65 violations. To put this in context, if the 65 violations on that single day were multiplied by the number of days (182) in a school year, that's over 11,830 violations in a given year. Even one violation is one too many, as each creates a danger for students.
Stiff penalties accompany a conviction for passing a stopped school bus. Motorists receive 5 points against their driver's license, face a $200 fine, & possibly 120 days in jail. If you witness a school bus stop arm violation, report the vehicle's license tag number to the Highway Patrol at 298-4252.