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Rules of the road: When you should stop for school buses

North Carolina and South Carolina may be neighbors but they do differentiate in one law on when to stop for a school bus

ROCK HILL, South Carolina — Summer vacation is coming to a close for those in South Carolina and school buses will be joining us on the roads again. 

So do you remember when you should stop for a school bus? Even if you think you do, let’s review. 

If you are on a two-lane road, everyone needs to stop no matter if you approach from the back or the front of the bus. This law is uniform across most states. 

However, on a four-lane road or multi-lane highway in South Carolina, you only have to stop when traveling in the same direction of the bus. All traffic on the opposite side isn’t required to stop, regardless of the type of median.  

Credit: SCDPS

This law is different than North Carolinas where you are required to stop on a multilane highway without a median separation or center lane. If the lanes are divided by a median or that center lane the opposite lane does not need to stop.


The danger zone extends 10 feet from the front, back and each side of the bus.

Credit: WCNC

No one should ever enter the danger zone because the bus driver can’t see you here. So if you drop something in this zone you should let the driver know instead of risking picking it up.  

Some Safety Tips:

  • When the bus arrives you should always be 10 feet or five giant steps from the curb 
  • Try and get to the bus stop five minutes early, because running to catch the bus can lead to injuries.
  •  If you have to cross the street in front of the bus, walk on the sidewalk or along the road to a point at least five giant steps ahead of the bus before you cross. 
  • Stop at the edge of the bus and look left-right-left before crossing. • 
  • Use the handrails to avoid falls. 
  • When getting off the bus, be careful that clothing with drawstrings and book bags and backpacks with straps don't get caught in the handrails or door. 
  • Never walk behind the bus 

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