When to Stop: Sharing the Road with School Buses
Courtesy of SDIA
As DeKalb County students return to school on August 8th, SDIA’s Safety Committee reminds you of Georgia’s law regarding passing school buses.
In most cases, all drivers are required to stop when meeting or overtaking a stopped school bus that has its red lights flashing and its stop arm extended when loading or unloading passengers. The only exception to this rule is when highways are separated in the center by a dirt, grass or concrete median. In this situation, only vehicles following or traveling alongside a school bus in the same direction must stop.
A warning that a bus stop is about to take place will always be given with the flashing amber lights on the front and rear of the school bus. Upon seeing these flashing amber lights, vehicles approaching the school bus from both the front and rear should immediately slow down and prepare to stop. All drivers must pay special attention to children, be focused and exercise caution when in the vicinity of a school bus stop, as student riders can sometimes be unpredictable. Once the bus is fully stopped, the flashing red lights will activate and the stop arm will deploy. Vehicles must stop and should remain stopped until all loading students are aboard in the morning or all unloading passengers have cleared 12 feet off the roadway in the afternoon. Motorists should proceed with caution, only after passengers have cleared the roadway, the stop arm is cancelled and the flashing red lights are deactivated.
MULTI-LANE: Paved. Vehicles traveling in both directions MUST STOP.
DIVIDED HIGHWAY: With dirt, grass or barrier median. Vehicles behind MUST STOP. Vehicles traveling in opposite direction must use caution.
TWO LANES: Vehicles traveling in both directions MUST STOP.
Failure to obey the law not only puts the safety of our children at risk but also puts you in a position to be fined. The fine? $300 for a first offense, $750 for a second offense, and $1,000 for each subsequent offense in a 5-year period. Think you won’t get caught? Every school bus driver who observes a violation is authorized and directed to record the vehicle description, license number of the offending vehicle, and time and place of occurrence and report to local law enforcement agency which has jurisdiction where the alleged offense occurred.
South DeKalb Improvement Association, Inc. (SDIA)