The end of the Labor Day weekend means that the majority of Georgia school systems have begun their school years. This means that there is more bus traffic on the roadways, and drivers need to begin following state laws governing stopping and passing these buses. These rules have recently changed, which can lead to confusion for both students and drivers. The Douglasville Patch reports on these changes and adds some tips for bus safety for both motorists and students.
State law requires that motorists stop when they see a school bus stopped with lights flashing and the arm deployed in almost every instance. The only exception to this rule is when the highways are separated in the center by either a dirt, grass, or concrete median. Another exception is when there is a center turning lane. In these exceptions, only the traffic going in the same direction as the bus is required to stop.
The newest exception to this law is the center turn lane. Formerly, only a center median prevented opposing-direction traffic to continue.
This change can be confusing, according to school officials.
The one main thing that officials remind all motorists to do when buses are on the roadways is to be attentive. Do not begin moving again until all students have safely been unloaded from the bus and are safely out of traffic lanes. Motorists should stop at least 20 feet away from a bus who has its arm deployed.
According to transportation experts, the greatest period of risk to students is when they are approaching a bus to board or are exiting a bus. An average of 19 students are killed each year getting on or off of a bus. This number is much higher than the 7 that are killed annually in school bus crashes.
Have you been injured in an accident? We can help. Call today.