School bus stopping rules apply on 4-lanes, too
BERRYVILLE -- Motorists who fail to follow state law when it comes to stopping for school buses may find themselves in court facing a hefty $350 fine.
"Basically, if a school bus is stopped in Carroll County, you must stop," said Lt. Jimmy Capps, with the Carroll County Sheriff's Office.
"It's a $350 fine and you must appear before the judge. You can't just pay. You have to appear."
He said all motorists are required to stop -- even when traveling on the four-lane highway east of Berryville.
"I've stopped and ticketed three (motorists) in the last week alone," he said. "People don't realize that unless there is a 20-foot or more wide median to divide the highway, they must stop."
He was referencing state law which says motorists are prohibited from passing school buses "from any direction" while the buses are stopped and displaying red warning lights for the purpose of loading or unloading passengers.
The "multiple lane" exception requires a "highway divided by a parkway or dividing strip of 20-feet or more in width." In those instances, "the driver of the approaching vehicle need not stop but shall proceed with due caution for the safety of the children."
Capps said there is no highway in Carroll County that meets the 20-foot multi-lane exception.
Most often the offenders are those in oncoming vehicles who fail to stop, he said. Capps also noted that motorists are not to proceed until the school bus is "in motion again."