School was back in session on Monday after winter break and knowing the rule for when motorists should stop for school buses is important in order to keep children safe while getting on and off.
SB 25 in the Georgia General Assembly requires that all oncoming vehicles must stop for school buses unless there is a grass median or physical barrier.
This was changed from the previous law where traffic traveling in both directions did not have to stop.
When a school bus stops for passengers, all traffic from both directions must come to a complete stop if there is not a physical barrier dividing the roadway.
If a divided highway has a physical barrier or median, then only traffic following the bus must stop completely.
“The red lights have to be activated and the stop sign has to be out,” according to the city of Clayton Police Department.
A turn lane does not count as a physical barrier.
“People feel like the turn lane is a physical divider, and it is not,” they clarified.
A ticket for unlawful passing of a school bus in the city of Clayton is $429, but it’s different for each jurisdiction.
In Dillard, the fine is $429, in Mountain City it’s $319, in Sky Valley it’s $500 for the first offense and $800 for each subsequent offense.
The violation is Offense Code 40-6-163, Unlawful Passing School Bus.
For the county, failure to stop for a school bus carries a fine of $250.
If you are found guilty, then 6 points get added to your license, according to Clayton Police.
Points are put on a license upon conviction of certain violations.
A driver with 15 points on their license in a 24-month period will have their license suspended, according to the Georgia Department of Driver Services website.
Drivers can check the status of their license on the Georgia DDS website and visit https://dds.georgia.gov/points-and-points-reduction for information on the Georgia Point System.