Bus Safety

§17C-12-7. Overtaking and passing school bus; penalties; signs and warning lights upon buses; removal of warning lights, lettering, etc., upon sale of buses; highways with separate roadways; limitation on idling.

(a) The driver of a vehicle, upon meeting or overtaking from either direction any school bus which has stopped for the purpose of receiving or discharging any school children, shall stop the vehicle before reaching the school bus when there is in operation on the school bus flashing warning signal lights, as referred to in section eight of this article, and the driver shall not proceed until the school bus resumes motion, or is signaled by the school bus driver to proceed or the visual signals are no longer actuated. This section applies wherever the school bus is receiving or discharging children including, but not limited to, any street, highway, parking lot, private road or driveway: Provided, That the driver of a vehicle upon a controlled access highway need not stop upon meeting or passing a school bus which is on a different roadway or adjacent to the highway and where pedestrians are not permitted to cross the roadway. Any driver acting in violation of this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not less than fifty nor more than two hundred dollars, or imprisoned in the county jail not more than six months, or both fined and imprisoned. If the identity of the driver cannot be ascertained, then any owner or lessee of the vehicle in violation of this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not less than twenty-five nor more than one hundred dollars. The conviction shall not subject the owner or lessee to further administrative or other penalties for the offense, notwithstanding other provisions of this code to the contrary.

(b) Every bus used for the transportation of school children shall bear upon the front and rear of the bus a plainly visible sign containing the words "school bus" in letters not less than eight inches in height. When a contract school bus is being operated upon a highway for purposes other than the actual transportation of children either to or from school, all markings on the contract school bus indicating "school bus" shall be covered or concealed. Any school bus sold or transferred to another owner by a county board of education, agency or individual shall have all flashing warning lights disconnected and all lettering removed or permanently obscured, except when sold or transferred for the transportation of school children.

(c) The state board of education shall write a policy governing the idling of school buses.

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