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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- It's the first day of a new school year for most of North Carolina's 1.5 million public school students.

Troopers want to use the start of the traditional academic year on Monday to give a reminder to motorists that the law requires drivers to stop and stay in place when a school bus has its stop sign and flashing red lights engaged.

Statistics show that too many motorists disobey the law. A statewide count by school bus drivers on one day last March reported that 3,300 vehicles illegally passed their stopped bus.

Twelve students have been killed boarding or leaving a school bus since 1999. Four of those deaths were last year.

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