Do you know when you're allowed to pass a school bus in Georgia and when you're not? I have a friend who apparently did not. Like most people, he knew that he must stop if traveling behind a school bus that extended its stop-arm with red lights flashing. He also knew that he had to stop if traveling in the opposite direction on a two-lane roadway. He didn't know, however, that he needed to stop when traveling in the opposite direction on a 4-lane highway separated by a painted median. He was shocked when he received a ticket in the mail with a picture of his truck passing a school bus and a $300 dollar fine to accompany it. So, when should you stop and when is it safe to pass?
The Georgia School Bus Stop Law clearly points out what you should do for each type of roadway:
- Two-lane roadway: When a school bus stops for passengers, ALL traffic from both directions must stop.
- Two-lane roadway with a center turning lane: When a school bus stops for passengers, ALL traffic from both directions must stop.
- Four-lane roadway without a median separation: When a school bus stops for passengers, ALL traffic from both directions must stop.
- Roadway of four lanes or more with a center turning lane: When a school bus stops for passengers, ALL traffic from both directions must stop.
- Divided highway of four lanes or more with a median separation: When a school bus stops for passengers, only traffic following the bus must stop.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 21 children under the age of 19 die every year as pedestrians getting on and off the bus. A top priority in Georgia is to keep our children safe. On average, each school bus is illegally passed once every day. In an effort to stop drivers from breaking the law, Georgia has installed cameras on some of its school buses to film the cars around it and catch illegally passing motorists. Next time you think of passing a school bus, think about the safety of the children instead, and the fact that you too could receive a ticket in the mail and have to pay a hefty fine as a result.
Gautreaux Law is a full-service personal injury law firm in Macon, Georgia. We represent people injured in all types of accidents, including car, truck, and motorcycle. If you've been injured then call our office for a free consultation or contact us online. We're here to help. 478-238-9758.