Motorists urged to follow laws, keep bus riders safe
From Staff Reports
According to the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, thousands of Georgia drivers illegally pass school buses when a stop arm is out, endangering children as they enter and exit buses every day.
According to Georgia law, vehicles traveling in both directions must stop when a school bus activates its stop-arm on a two-lane road or a multi-lane road with no median or barrier. Vehicles travelling in the same direction as a school bus must always stop, but motorists travelling in the opposite direction can proceed (with caution) when there is an unpaved median or concrete barrier separating the opposing lanes.
That’s compared to 8,102 vehicles during 4,629 incidences last year. The numbers are likely higher than that because not all of the state’s 178 school districts with bus programs turned in data, according to the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE).
“While I’m pleased we are seeing fewer incidences of stop-arm violations, it’s frightening to think we have this many drivers breaking the law and endangering our children,” said State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge. “I would ask the public to please pay close attention to school buses and watch for their stop signals. Student safety should be a priority for everyone in the community, not just parents and schools.”
Statistics indicate since 1995, 11 Georgia school students have died