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Riding Safely: New Procedures for Bus Riders

More than 100 yellow buses rolled out across the county this first week of school, with some starting routes as early as 6:00 am just as in years past, but not everything is the same as before, as new safety procedures have changed the bus rider experience.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services set new safety practices for school bus riders in grades K-12 due to the current COVID-19 conditions. Below are the following requirements for all students who are riding a school bus:

  • All bus riders are required to wear a face covering.
  • No more than one student can be seated per school bus seat unless they are of the same household.

School buses are thoroughly sanitized after each bus route once all students have unloaded.

Parents have been asked to complete and sign an attestation form that they will conduct a health check at home on a daily basis prior to their student boarding a bus or entering a school facility. All students that enter a school facility must get a temperature check.

As students are boarding and unloading school buses, motorists are encouraged to use extra caution when approaching a yellow school bus by following the North Carolina School Bus Stop Law:

  • Two-lane road: when a school bus stops for passengers, all traffic from both directions must stop.
  • Two-lane roadway with a center turning lane: when a school bus stops for passengers, all traffic from both directions must stop.
  • Divided highway with a median separation: when a school bus stops for passengers, only traffic following the bus must stop.
  • Roadway of four lanes or more with a center turning lane: when a school bus stops for passengers, only traffic following the bus must stop.
  • Four-lane roadway without a median separation: when a school bus stops for passengers, all traffic from both directions must stop.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the school bus is the safest vehicle on the road. As stated on their website: “Your child is much safer taking a bus to and from school than traveling by car.”