Don’t pass a stopped school bus
Published 7:00 am Thursday, July 24, 2014
Motorists should beware when passing stopped school buses, the community is watching.
Traffic laws are on the books that restrict the passing of stopped school buses in order to protect the children they are picking up or dropping off.
Violators of the law should keep in mind that not only is the community watching, those transporting the children are as well.
“We get calls from bus drivers,” Lt. Joe Quave with the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department said. “They may get reported if they do pass one.”
While the charge for passing a stopped bus is not a felony, it does carry a monetary penalty. Quave said the minimum fine is $200, but it can be as much as $500.
State law mandates that all motorists stop their vehicle when a school bus is stopped or stopping. Cars in either direction of travel are also required to stop until the bus begins moving again, Quave said. Motorists driving along a four lane road should also be aware that they too must stop for a stopped school bus, even if they are in the opposite lane of travel, Quave said.
The only time it is legal to pass a school bus is if the bus is in motion and the road markings allow, Quave said.
“We want to ensure the safety of the kids,” Quave said. “If anyone witnesses someone pass a stopped school bus, we encourage them to report it.”
To report an instance of someone passing a stopped school bus along a county road motorists can call 601-798-5528. If the offense occurs within the city limits of Picayune or Poplarville motorists should call the respective police department. The Picayune Police Department can be reached by calling 601-798-7411 or the Poplarville Police Department by calling 601-795-4447.