KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) – Schools across the state are taking extra steps to keep your kids safe when taking the bus to school.
Bus drivers are now are required to use hand signals to let students know when it’s safe to cross the street. On any given day in North Carolina, more than 3,000 drivers illegally pass stopped school buses.
Bus driver Sorita Grant said, “I do have a stop that I do make and I have actually had someone run my sign and thank god the child has not crossed the street”
“I know that I can count on my bus driver to keep me safe,” student Cabriha Wayne said.
Grant says that’s a lot of pressure on her but she doesn’t mind.
“It makes me feel more comfortable as far as knowing she’s watching me and I’m watching the traffic at the same time as well as her to make sure it is safe to proceed across the street.”
Some school systems the east, including Lenoir, Pitt, and Onslow County Schools have used hand signals since August.
Grant says it was rough in the beginning. “I had some that would look, some that would not look, but as they got on the bus I would say, you have to watch my hand for the signs and it’s been fine.”
If the lights are flashing, you must stop and wait. If you pass a stopped bus, plan to add points on your license and face high fines. Administrators say parents should practice the hand signals with their children often.