MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Fall is on its way. Leaves are changing colors, the temperature is starting to cool down, and school is starting up again.
The school year kicking off welcomes school buses back to the roads aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. Along with buses being a fixture on the streets again, comes their own specific regulations in regards to other cars around them.
Base Order 5560.2N states a vehicle is not allowed to pass a bus that is stopped or stopping to pick up or drop off children.
“Passing a stopped school bus will result in a four point deduction from the 12 points every driver on base begins with,” said Sgt. Maj. Ernest K. Hoopii, sergeant major of MCB Camp Lejeune – Marine Corps Installations East. “On top of that, it’ll land you with a 90 day driving suspension on base. You’ll get your base decal taken away, and you will go into our consolidated law enforcement operational database.”
The order strictly prohibits any vehicle from passing a stopped bus on any road on MCB Camp Lejeune.
“The state law for North Carolina says the only time a car can pass a school bus is if it’s on a four lane road with a center turning lane,” said Hoopii. “Aboard (MCB Camp Lejeune) however, a school bus cannot be passed under any circumstances.”
Hoopii said even emergency vehicles are not to pass a school bus that is either picking up or dropping off children.
“Anytime there is a violation which involves children, it is very serious,” said Hoopii. “You just don’t pass a school bus. If the stop sign is out and the lights are flashing, no one should pass it. We’re talking about the safety of the children (aboard the installation). Even if someone thinks they can get away with it because there aren’t any (military police) around, there will be concerned citizen who will care and will report the infraction.”
Hoopii said with summer winding down, there normally are a large number of traffic issues. Construction is prevalent around the base, which causes detours and other inconveniences.
“With all the different construction around base, I just want everyone on the road to be patient and courteous to other drivers,” Hoopii said. “With the start of the five schools and five child development centers, it is paramount that every driver be alert of children getting on buses, crossing the street or walking with their parents on the side of the road.”