Safety When Driving Near a School Bus
When you leave for work in the morning, you probably notice children patiently awaiting their ride to school, typically a big yellow school bus. Sometimes parents are there to keep an eye on their children. However, many school kids are often left on their own while they wait to be picked up. You’ll also notice school buses on the roadways. Sometimes, you get stuck behind them as the children get on/off board.
School buses are convenient. They are generally a safe means to transport children to school; however, they can also be dangerous when drivers do not follow the basic safety rules of driving near school buses.
If you are on your way to work one morning and see a school bus with red flashing lights, you must come to a complete stop until the school bus turns off its red flashing lights and accelerates. Even if you’re late or frustrated by how the school bus is slowing down traffic, you must stop. Failing to stop might lead to serious consequences like injuring an innocent child that is crossing the street or attempting to get on or off the bus.
If you are involved in a school bus accident and believe it is not your fault, or if your child was harmed by a negligent driver, contact an experienced Atlanta bus accident lawyer at Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC. We will investigate your case, ensure that your rights are protected, and strive to recover full compensation for your losses.
New Georgia School Bus Law
Until recently, drivers in Georgia who were traveling in the opposite direction of a stopped school bus on a four-lane road with a turn lane in the middle were required to stop. Due to the new Georgia school bus law, that is no longer necessary. However, traffic in each direction must now stop on two-lane roads.
That law stems from the fact that passing stopped school buses continues to be a serious problem in Georgia. In 2017, a survey by the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services discovered that 12,229 bus drivers in Georgia reported 7,945 illegal passes.
Tips for Driving Safety Near a School Bus
If you do not drive safely near school buses in Georgia, you may face a fine of $300 for your first offense, $750 for a second offense, and $1,000 for each subsequent offense within five years. If you injure or even kill a child, you might suffer serious consequences. Therefore, it is important to follow these tips for safely driving near a school bus:
- Drive slowly: Even if you’re in a hurry or late, you must drive slowly near school buses. Keep an eye out for children walking in the street, especially if you are in a neighborhood with no sidewalks.
- Be alert: Although you should always be alert while driving, doing so is particularly important when driving near school buses. Children are known to dart into the street without paying attention to traffic.
- Obey Georgia school bus laws: That might seem obvious, but following the school bus laws in Georgia is the ideal way to reduce school bus accidents and the severe injuries and consequences they cause.
- Understand the meaning of flashing lights: Yellow flashing lights indicate that a bus is about to stop and unload children. When you see yellow flashing lights, you need to slow down and get ready to stop. Red flashing lights signify that a bus has completely stopped and children are getting on or off. Red flashing lights are your sign to stop a safe distance from a bus.
Involved in a School Bus Accident? Contact a Bus Accident Lawyer
If you or your child has been injured in a school bus accident, don’t hesitate to consult an experienced and knowledgeable bus accident lawyer at Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC. We can help you determine who’s responsible for your losses, ensure that you receive the necessary medical care, and advise you about all of your legal options.