Seeing a school bus stopped to pick up children and not stopping could end in big-time trouble.
Deputies said 43-year-old Dale Gilbert of Boiling Springs was arrested when a deputy in an unmarked patrol car said he saw him drive past a school bus with its red lights on Tuesday morning.
The deputy said Gilbert pulled around the school bus and passed it on the median on Highway 9 while its stop sign was out, which is illegal.
Drivers behind a school bus are supposed to stop if they see the amber lights come on - that means the bus will be stopping - and then stop when the red flashing lights are on and the stop arm is out.
If a car is driving behind the bus and traveling the same direction as the bus, the car must stop. On a four-lane highway, if you're driving toward the bus, drivers don't need to stop. On a two-lane road, both directions of traffic need to stop.
Lt. Tony Ivey, said with the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office, said over the years, some rules have changed, and bus drivers are only supposed to pick up kids from the right side of the street. He said the legislature has beefed up its laws.
"They made the fines stiff and penalty harsh to make folks realize it's serious when passing school buses and safety around our children," Ivey said.
Ivey said the laws were stiffened just in the last few years, threatening six points on your license, not less than a $500 fine and up to 30 days in jail.
Gilbert is out of jail on a recognizance bond. He will see a judge within the next couple months.
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