Why you should never drive past a stopped school bus in Georgia

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Why you should never drive past a stopped school bus in Georgia

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In this Aug. 10, 2015, photo, busses arrive on the first day back at school at Baguette Elementary School in Lawrenceville. BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM

Officials warn drivers: Stop for a school bus or pay a hefty fine.

When a school bus stops and flashes its signals, all traffic in both directions must come to a halt, according to Georgia law.

State law requires motorists traveling in both directions to stop for school buses that are loading and unloading (lights flashing and stop arm extended), unless the road is divided by a median. If there is a median, the vehicles traveling in the opposite direction of the bus aren’t required to stop.

Drivers who violate the law will be fined $300 for the first offense. Motorists accumulate six points on their driving record for each violation, according to Georgia Department of Public Safety.

When it is appropriate or illegal to pass a school bus?  AJC Graphic

In an effort to crack down on violators, some metro Atlanta school districts have installed cameras on school buses to catch motorists in the act.

Clayton County, Cobb County, Decatur, Gwinnett County, Marietta and Atlanta are among the school districts that are using school bus cameras that film traffic violations.

“Our children are really at risk,” Fulton County Commission Chairman John Eaves said at a meeting in March.

Gwinnett officials said the county issued 23,307 citations and collected about $2 million in fines in 2015 by using the news camera system.

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