Students heading back to school has officials reminding drivers about bus laws

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - In less than two weeks, you're going to start seeing big yellow school buses out and about again.

When you see them, remember that the safety of the children getting on and off the bus is paramount. That's another reminder to stay off your phone, along with it being beneficial to yourself.

The first few weeks can be exciting. You may not be able to see smaller children and they may still be in summer mode of running around and they might not remember to look both ways before crossing the street. If they are running late, they may dart into the road and not pay attention to the cars around them.

The bus driver will typically flash yellow lights on the front and back of the bus to alert other drivers that he or she is going to stop. Like a traffic signal, yellow means slow down.

There are also some hefty penalties for passing a bus that has its stop arm out.

The Pitt County Sheriff's Office posted the consequences for passing a stopped bus on their Facebook page. They say passing a stopped school bus is a class 1 misdemeanor and the maximum punishment for that is 120 days in jail. It could also cost you points on your license and insurance. There could also be fines of $500 or more.

Most importantly, follow the rules to avoid putting yourself or any children in danger.

We have provided a link with diagrams to show when and when you don't have to stop under the Related Items tab.