Brookhaven officers will be patrolling school zones as part of their daily operations and watching for drivers who fail to stop for school buses that are loading or unloading passengers.
Police Chief Gary Yandura urges drivers to remember Georgia law requires motorists to stop in both directions for school buses that are displaying flashing red lights and have the stop arm activated (except for on controlled access highways or when the highway is divided into separate roadways). After stopping, drivers may proceed only after the school bus resumes motion or the flashing red lights are no longer activated.
Drivers should also use extreme care and leave more space when traveling around a school bus, especially when following a school bus.
“Drivers who are following school buses too closely are not prepared for the frequent stops made by the school bus," Yandura said. “Drivers should always use extreme caution when following school buses and obey the posted speed limits in the school zones.”
The majority of fatal crashes involving school buses occurred when the school bus was struck by a smaller passenger vehicle. A conviction for unlawfully passing a school bus is punishable with up to a six-month license suspension, as well as six points on a driving record for drivers under the age of 21.
Police also remind drivers to be alert for children waiting for the school bus, especially during the early morning hours when visibility is reduced.
“Children are not always aware of their surroundings or vehicles that may be passing by and the dangers that they pose,” Yandura said. “Drivers should be prepared to stop when approaching children that are waiting for a school bus.”