House Bill 978 changes some ways drivers treat stopped school buses

House Bill 978 changes some ways drivers treat stopped school buses

RICHMOND COUNTY, GA (WFXG) - A traffic bill that went into effect July 1, 2018, changed the way drivers approach stopped school buses. That could make the roads more dangerous for your kids.

FOX 54's Jasmine Anderson talked to the Richmond County's traffic division about what parents can do right now to make sure their children know how to get home safely.

The ride home from school can be an exciting time for kids bursting with energy after sitting in class all day. However, a simple trip home turned tragic for a Richmond County 10-year-old. The sheriff's office found a child hit by a vehicle was at fault after running into the street after deboarding at Leslie Circle and Wells Drive.

"The bus was positioned to stop traffic behind it on Leslie Circle and it was positioned to stop traffic across the street on Lyman Street," said Richmond County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Michael Lewis.

Sgt. Lewis said it's normally busy in that area around the time school buses drop students off. It's also a cut-through from Lumpkin Road to Ruby Drive. 
However, traffic on Wells Drive - which is where that driver was traveling - was not required to stop. A part of House Bill 978 backs that up.

Some parts of that bill stayed the same:

"If you're on a two-lane road you have to stop if you're approaching the rear of the bus and you also have to stop if you're approaching the front of the bus. That hasn't changed," Sgt. Lewis explained.

On a divided highway, if you're approaching a stopped bus, You don't have to stop. If you're behind it- the law still applies and you must stop.

There are ways parents can help their child navigate the roads.

He said, "If you're at home when your child should be getting off the bus, you should probably come outside and meet your child at the bus stop, especially if  your child has to cross the street."

Parents are also encouraged to teach their kids to stop, look both ways and make sure no one is coming before crossing the street. 

Copyright 2018 WFXG. All rights reserved.