Drivers reminded to slow down as kids return to school - FOX Carolina 21

Drivers reminded to slow down as kids return to school

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An Upstate school zone flashing sign. (Aug. 18, 2014/FOX Carolina) An Upstate school zone flashing sign. (Aug. 18, 2014/FOX Carolina)

With most Upstate and western North Carolina school districts returning to class this week, law enforcement officers will be patrolling school zones, reminding drivers to slow down and use caution.

Greenville County is the largest school district in the state, and kids returned to class on Tuesday - along with the return of slower speeds in school zones.

Greenville County deputies, along with Greenville and Greer police and the Highway Patrol, will increase patrols of school zones during the morning and afternoon hours to remind drivers to proceed with caution based on posted and flashing signs.

During the first eight days of school in 2013, the Greenville County Sheriff's Office issued 342 speeding tickets in school zones.

After the first day of school, Sgt. Ballenger with the Greer Police Department said there had been 50 warnings, 14 tickets and one DUI in school zones on Tuesday.

Additionally, drivers are reminded to come to a complete stop for a stopped school bus with activated flashing lights and sign if they are on a two-lane highway, as South Carolina law requires drivers to stop in both directions. 

If on a multi-lane highway, only drivers behind a bus must stop. Those headed in the opposite direction can pass the bus but are urged to slow down and pass with caution.

A new South Carolina law that recently went into effect allows drivers who illegally pass a stopped school bus to be cited after the incident using the bus' onboard camera system as evidence. Click here to read more about the law.

The law is a little different in North Carolina. Drivers on a two-lane road must stop in both directions. Drivers on a four-lane road without a median must also stop in both directions, but if the four-lane highway has a median or center turning lane, only traffic following the bus must stop.

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