Cars passing stopped school buses on Johns Island lead parents to get police involved

Johns Island parents go to police over cars passing stopped school buses (WCIV)

The Charleston Police Department is working to make sure children from Johns Island get to school safe.

More law enforcement is keeping an eye on the area around the Marsh View Place apartments on Johns Island during school bus drop-off and pick-up times, after concerned parents reached out to police about cars continually passing their kids’ stopped school bus while the children were boarding.

Some parents said they were so alarmed by the issue, they started driving their kids to school.

A parent of a six-year-old and a seventh grader said one of their children was almost hit while walking to the bus stop recently. The mother said her daughter no longer rides the bus because of the incident.

"It’s actually kind of hard now, because we only have one car,” the parent said.

The problem is a relatively new one. Parents say last year the school bus would pull into their apartment complex, rather than stopping on Main Road at the entrance to the complex.

Some drivers seem to think they don't need to stop for the bus in front of the apartment complex because that portion of Main Road has a median between its two lanes.

State law says it's illegal for drivers in either direction to pass a stopped school bus with its "Stop" arm out while on a two-lane road. Police say that's true even if there's a median between the two lanes, such as in front of Marsh View Place.

"The median means nothing in terms of what the law about school buses talks about," Sgt. Corey Taylor with Charleston Police said. "It only talks about the actual travel lanes.”

Only vehicles behind a stopped are required to stop on multi-lane roads (multi-lane = 4 or more lanes). Traffic traveling in the opposite direction on multi-lane roads is not required to stop when the bus stops.

“If you’re not sure, you should stop," Sgt. Taylor said. "That’ll protect the children out here, and that’ll protect you from getting a ticket, because if you’re passing a school bus, the fine is over $1,000 dollars, and six points on your license. So you’re talking about a big impact on your insurance."

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