Cameras Providing an Effective Pedestrian Safety Tool for Kids Riding Cobb County Buses
Statistically school buses provide the safest method for children to travel to school. In fact, sadly many children who are injured or killed in school bus accidents are struck while crossing the street to board or disembark from the bus. Although buses use flashing lights and swing-out stops signs that deploy from the side of the bus as safety measures to prevent pedestrian accidents, these warning devices provide limited protection from distracted or intoxicated drivers who fail to notice these warning signs.
However, a new program that is being used by Georgia school districts as well as others around the country is converting school buses into effective traffic enforcement tools and making kids safer. School buses are being equipped with digital video cameras that take photos of motorists who fail to obey the swing-out stop sign and flashing red lights when a school bus is stopped. The owner of vehicles photographed disregarding the obligation to stop when the flashing red lights are on and the swing-out stop sign is deployed receives a traffic citation in the mail for illegally passing a school bus.
While cameras have been installed on some school buses for a few years, many school districts have begun widely implementing this safety technology to reduce the risk of child pedestrian accidents when kids are approaching or leaving school bus stops. In Cobb County, for example, seven cameras have been mounted on more than a hundred school buses. The cameras have proven effective at catching those who put kids riding the bus at-risk while also exposing the extent of the problem. The Cobb police report issuing 2,171 tickets for illegally passing a school bus since the cameras were installed less than a year ago according to the USA Today. The fines for illegally passing a school bus range from $300-$1000 per violation.
Prior to the use of cameras, Cobb County bus drivers were authorized to report those who disregarded their obligation to stop. However, prior Georgia law did not authorize police to issue a citation based solely on the report of the driver Cobb County police Lt. Hawk Hagebak told a USA Today reporter. However, the law was changed in 2011 in response to a fatal pedestrian accident caused by a driver who passed a school bus and killed a kindergartner. The change in the law now allows police to use video evidence to cite drivers who violate the law regarding school bus stop arms.
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If your child is hit by a driver who disregards a swing-arm stop sign mounted on your child's bus, your child is likely to have a right to financial compensation. Our Atlanta pedestrian accident attorneys at Montlick and Associates are available to provide effective legal representation to those throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.