Sharing the Road 101: Here’s when drivers must stop for school buses

With the start of a new school year coming quickly, it’s time for a pop quiz: Do you know when...
With the start of a new school year coming quickly, it’s time for a pop quiz: Do you know when state law requires you to stop for a school bus?
Updated: Aug. 3, 2022 at 3:45 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - With the start of a new school year coming quickly, it’s time for a pop quiz: Do you know when state law requires you to stop for a school bus?

The answer to when drivers are legally required to stop for a school bus depends on the road.

Drivers must stop for the entire time a school bus is stopped or preparing to stop with its red or amber lights flashing or its stop arm extended, according to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety.

After the school bus’s red or amber lights have stopped flashing and the stop arm is no longer visible, drivers should proceed slowly, watching for children.

The South Carolina Department of Public Safety says all drivers must stop for school bus stops...
The South Carolina Department of Public Safety says all drivers must stop for school bus stops on two-lane roads. But on roads with four or more lanes, drivers following the bus must stop at bus stops, but drivers going the opposite direction may proceed.(SC Department of Public Safety)

On any two-lane highway, drivers must stop for a school bus whether they are meeting the bus or following behind it. Drivers attempting to pass a school bus with red or amber lights flashing must always wait, the SCDPS website states.

But on any four-lane or multi-lane highway, they must stop for a school bus only if they are driving behind the bus. Drivers traveling in the opposite direction are not required to wait for a school bus. That’s true regardless of whether the road has a grassy median, a rule that sets South Carolina apart from other states like North Carolina.

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