Georgia Changes Law on Stopping for School Buses
ATLANTA, GA. – August 30, 2018 (patch.com) As reported online by patch.com, school will be back in high-gear after the Labor Day holiday, which means drivers should brush up on state laws regarding school buses.*
Recently, the Georgia Legislature changed its rules relating to stopping for school buses on roadways. Previously, drivers on the opposite side of a school bus did not have to stop if the road was divided by a physical median. Legislators have now changed the law to include roads divided by a center turn lane. Now, when drivers see a school bus at a full stop with flashing lights and stop arm out, they do not need to stop if they are driving on the opposite side of the road, and the road is divided by a dirt, grass, or concrete median, or a center turning lane.
School leaders are worried the change might cause confusion and lead to drivers not stopping in instances when they should. “They were starting to get the drill down,” Sam Ham, executive director of transportation services for Fulton County Schools, said of drivers sharing the road with school buses. “Everybody kind of knew when you’re supposed to stop and not stop, and now that water is muddied some. Our largest concern is when you don’t have to stop, if that’s ambiguous, that endangers the lives of students.”
When in doubt, the best way to proceed is to stop or slow down and proceed with caution. If you are driving on the same side of the road as the school bus, you absolutely need to stop every time the bus stops to pick up students or let students off. Be sure to give the bus enough room, and do not begin driving again until the bus has turned off its lights, pulled the stop arm back in, and proceeded back on its route. Never attempt to pass a bus on either side.
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