Highway Patrol emphasizes safety for new school year

Published 7:26 pm Thursday, August 22, 2019

From the North Carolina State Highway Patrol

As students across North Carolina make preparations to begin the school year, the State Highway Patrol is requesting the motoring public to keep safe travel a top priority. More than 14,000 school buses will be hitting the roadways, transporting over 790,000 children to and from school. With this in mind, motorists are encouraged to plan for delays as congestion is to be expected during the morning and afternoon commute.

Troopers statewide will increase their focus in and around school zones, monitoring driver behavior both before and after school. Emphasis will also be placed on ensuring motorists stop for school buses, as troopers will ride on various buses during their respective routes.

According to state law, motorists are required to stop when a school bus is displaying its mechanical stop signal or flashing red lights and the bus is stopped for the purpose of receiving or discharging passengers. The driver of any other vehicle that approaches the school bus from any direction on the same street, highway, or public vehicular area shall bring that other vehicle to a full stop and shall remain stopped.

“The primary focus of every student across our state should be on education,” said Colonel Glenn McNeill Jr., commander of the State Highway Patrol. “Our mission is simple; ensure that focus does not waiver due to safety concerns while traveling to and from school.”

Motorists are encouraged to follow the provided suggestions during morning and afternoon travel:

  • Plan ahead for potential delays between the hours of 6-9 a.m. and 2-4 p.m.
  • Never pass a stopped school bus under any circumstance
  • Reduce speeds when approaching school zones
  • Avoid driving distracted
  • Be mindful of school bus stops along chosen routes
  • Stay alert in and around school zones for pedestrians and crossing guards

While SHP and law enforcement across the state will be partnering to facilitate safe travel for students of every age, everyone must share this responsibility. With this in mind, motorists are encouraged to assist the Patrol in reporting dangerous drivers by dialing *HP (*47) from their mobile device. Callers are requested to provide their location, nature of offense observed and description of the vehicle in question.