Study ranks Georgia No. 1 in school bus passing violations - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Study ranks Georgia No. 1 in school bus passing violations

MARIETTA, GA (CBS46) -

A new study ranks Georgia No. 1 in school bus passing violations.

According to American Traffic Solutions, which installs safety cameras, 100 children die annually and 25,000 are injured on their way to and from school. Many of those accidents are related to drivers illegally passing school buses.

"With the kids getting on and off the bus and the drivers talking on cell phones and listening to music and not paying attention to their surroundings, it's a very, very serious hazard," said Kevin Dahunsi, a Marietta City Schools bus driver and a former police officer.

Besides distracted driving, Mark Lindstrom, transportation director for Marietta City Schools, said another problem is drivers not understanding the law.

"We need to make sure it's in drivers' education classes, and we need to make sure it's on every single drivers' licensing exam," Lindstrom said.

According to Georgia law, a vehicle must stop if it's behind or approaching a bus that has its stop arm out and red lights flashing. The only exception is you're approaching the bus from the opposite direction and there is a raised median between the two traffic flows.

Once learning how high the violation numbers were, Marietta schools mounted cameras on 10 of its buses in 2013 to record drivers illegally passing. Since then, police have issued 1,200 citations.

Lindstrom said the number of violators has dropped by 42 percent. The school system plans on installing a dozen more cameras next week.

Fines from drivers caught illegally passing pay for the cameras.

In Georgia, violators face up to a $1,000 fine and six points on their license.

Copyright 2014 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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