CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Illegally passing a school bus in South Carolina not only puts children's lives at risk but can also cost drivers huge fines.
The South Carolina Department of Public Safety is reminding motorists to watch for children heading back to school.
By state law, on two-lane roads, motorists traveling in both directions must stop for a school bus with flashing amber or red lights.
"When those lights start flashing, amber lights come on first, it's just like a traffic light," South Carolina Highway Patrol Lance Cpl. Matt Southern said. "That doesn't mean speed up and try and get past the bus."
On roads with four or more lanes, motorists approaching a stopped school bus with flashing amber or red lights from the opposite direction do not have to stop.
"If you're traveling in the opposite the direction, you can go, but we want you to slow down," he said.
The law for two-lane and four-lane roads is the same whether there is a median or not, Southern said. It is only dependent on the number of the lanes there.
The minimum fine for passing a stopped school bus is $500 and six points on your driver's license. Subsequent offenses carry a fine of $2,000 and six points.