DeKalb County, GA, October 23, 2016 – The Post Reports – According to reports released this week by the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office during the observance of National School Bus Safety Week, a surprisingly high number of drivers in DeKalb continue to violate the school bus stop passing law.
An activity summary by Sheriff Jeff Mann’s Uniform Field Division shows that deputies issued 231 tickets specifically for “arm stop violations” since school began on August 1, 2016. The year’s total is 350 tickets since January 1, 2016. The statistics were shared last week with DeKalb County School District bus drivers during a training session.
“It is disappointing.” says Sheriff Mann. “Since we began ticketing offenders in 2014, there has been a heightened awareness of the school bus passing law. Other county law enforcement agencies have also started to crack down on this violation, so the public is certainly more mindful of the threat to young children and of the consequences they face by breaking the law. Yet, they continue to offend.”
DeKalb School Superintendent Dr. R. Stephen Green says he appreciates the extra effort being made by the sheriff’s office to cite offenders. His district transports nearly 60,000 students each day across about 11 million miles a year.
“Parents and guardians trust us to keep their children safe, and we take that trust very seriously,” says Dr. Green. “Violating school bus passing laws endangers the lives of our children, so we support the sheriff’s assistance with holding offenders accountable for irresponsible actions.”
The law requires that vehicles approaching a stopped school bus must also stop until it is safe to proceed. In DeKalb County, school buses have retractable stop signs on the driver’s side. Traffic can pass when the sign has been retracted. The law applies on all thoroughfares where there is no permanent raised median. Fines for passing a stopped school bus can reach the hundreds of dollars and add violation points to drivers’ licenses.
DeKalb Sheriff’s deputies regularly patrol areas in DeKalb County where citizens have voiced concern after witnessing violations and in densely populated communities along busy streets where children use school bus transportation.