Operation Stop Arm: Know the Law About Passing A School Bus and Save A Life

Operation Stop Arm

Operation Stop Arm

Operation Stop Arm is aimed at reducing the number of children that are injured and killed at school bus stops every year. Operation Stop Arm strives to accomplish this worthwhile goal through the following methods:

1. Seeking amendment of current laws to make Stop Arm violation penalties enforceable.

2. Implementation of a state – wide Operation Stop Arm marketing campaign to educate and awaken drivers to the dangers of illegally passing school buses.

For more information on Operation Stop Arm, you can visit the web site at www.operationstoparm.info

Generally, individuals who illegally pass school buses are not your typical criminals. They are just regular folks who may be running late for work, talking on the phone, not really sure when they are supposed to stop, or just plain sleepy. But failing to stop for a school bus that is loading and unloading children can have devastating, long term consequences. I encourage all of you to educate yourself on when you should stop for a school bus. And please, take a moment to examine your driving habits to ensure that you are not setting yourself up for disaster.

The only time your are not required to stop for a school bus that is loading and unloading children is when you are driving on a divided highway that consists of four or more lanes and has a median that separates the lanes. When the school bus stops for passengers in this situation, only traffic that is travelling in the same direction as the bus is required to stop. If there is only a center turn lane that divides the lanes and there is no median, traffic in both directions must stop.

New this year, The Cobb County Board of Education Transportation Division has purchased and installed two video systems that record vehicles that pass a stopped school bus. The video system activates when the yellow flashers activate and captures driver and vehicle information as the vehicle drives past the stopped bus. This video will be made available to law enforcement officers for prosecution.

A citation for illegally passing a school bus requires a mandatory court appearance. If you are convicted you will be required to pay a fine up to $1000.00 and receive up to 6 points on your driving record. A conviction for a driver less than 21 years of age constitutes a license suspension.

Parents, please remind your teen drivers of the no cell phone or texting laws that went into effect last month. The unofficial “grace period” that often follows changes in traffic law is over and enforcement has begun.

It is now unlawful for any person who has an instructional permit or a class D license under the age of 18 to use a cell phone while driving unless they are reporting an emergency situation. It is unlawful for anyone to text while driving.

You may click on the following link for more information on these changes.