New Hand Signals for Buses

In the 2014-15 academic year alone, five North Carolina students were injured by motorists passing stopped school buses. Since 1999, 13 students have been killed while boarding or exiting a school bus. North Carolina law requires motorists to stop and remain stopped while the bus has its stop sign and flashing red lights engaged. However, according to research conducted by NC Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) Transportation Services staff, most school bus-related student injuries and fatalities stem from drivers who disregard the school bus sign.

“We have over 15 years of data to show that more than 3,000 cars per day are not going to stop. It’s clear that public awareness campaigns alone won’t reverse this trend,” NCDPI Transportation Services Section Chief Derek Graham said. “The revised policy represents a more proactive approach to what bus drivers and students can do to stay safe even when motorists don’t obey the law.”

Drawing from national procedures as well as school bus safety standards and practices from across the country, the revised policy requires bus drivers to use a standard hand signal that tells students a roadway is safe to cross. The hand signal has the following three steps:

1. Driver holds up his or her palm facing the student until it is safe to cross.

2. Driver then gives a "thumbs up" to the students.

3. Driver points with his or her index finger the direction in which the child should proceed across the road.

The safety and well being of students continues to be the number one priority of the Mount Airy City Schools. We will work with our students and families to ensure everyone understands the importance of the new hand signals. We will also work with NCDPI to make sure we are making every effort possible to keep our students safe. 

Please visit our website for more information including graphics explaining the new hand signals.

Questions or concerns may be directed to Jon Doss 336-786-8180.

You may also find more safety information by clicking here.