Public schools open on Monday all across Orange County, and drivers are advised to be aware of that, and to remember the school-related rules of the road.

Chapel Hill Police Lt. Josh Mecimore offers some reminders.

The first one is about school buses.

“The fact is that when those buses are out on the road, they’re making frequent stops,” he said. “And it’s you responsibility as a driver to wait.”

That means that if a school bus stops and you’re traveling in the either direction, you must stop, too, especially while the Stop sign is extended from the side of the bus.

“Kids out there, they don’t think the way adults do,” said Mecimore. “They’re thinking about their day at school. They’re thinking about, you know, who they’re going to sit beside on the bus.

“They’re not thinking about the fact that this car that’s coming toward them may decide to disobey that law and just keep going.”

Mecimore suggests that drivers add a little time to the morning commute, starting Monday.

He also has a tip about speed limits that is somewhat specific to Chapel Hill.

“We live in a community where our schools are, oftentimes, close enough for people to walk to school,” he said. “And so we have kids that are crossing the roads at various points, on their way to school.
“We need them to be able to do that safely. And that’s why we have these school zones, and you have to slow down.”

Mecimore urges drivers to be mindful that you may need to stop suddenly for a kid crossing the road at any moment, so please watch your speed.