“School’s Open, Drive Carefully” reminds drivers to obey the law for children’s safety – 41NBC News | #schoolsaftey

Drivers are encouraged to eliminate distractions, obey the posted speed limit, wear a seat belt and always drive sober.

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) — It’s time for kids to go back to school, and that means school buses will be back on the road. That’s why local and state agencies are reminding drivers to be alert and obey the law in school zones and bus stops.

“We all need to understand that what’s most important is protecting our children, and that includes when they’re trying to get to and from school,” said Robert Hydrick, Communications Director for the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. “And when you’re stopping as the law requires you to, you’re doing your part to make sure our kids get to school safely each day.”

School buses are the safest way for children to travel to and from school, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). But the most dangerous part of the trip is when they’re getting on and off the bus.

That’s why the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, along with the Bibb County School District, Department of Public Safety and the American Automobile Association (AAA) are reminding drivers to slow down and look out for children while driving in a school zone or near a bus.

“We never know what they may do. We know what the expectations are, but children will be children and they may dart out in front of your vehicle.” said Director of Fleet Management for the Bibb County School District, Anthony Jackson.

According to state law, traffic on a two lane road must stop in both directions if a school bus is stopped with its lights flashing and crossing arm extended. This includes multi-lane roadways with a center turning lane. For roads with a median, traffic in the opposite lane is required to slow down.

If you are unsure of what to do – stop until the bus has resumed travel. If you see a child walking to or standing at a bus stop – slow down and pay attention. When driving through a school zone, always obey the posted speed limit.

“Just a 10 mile per hour increase in speed is likely to result in more injuries and perhaps even a fatality if a car meets with a pedestrian,” said Georgia Director of Public Affairs for AAA, Garret Townsend.

NHTSA data shows that bus drivers reported more than 50,000 drivers in the U.S. illegally passed a stopped bus during a single day in the 2020-21 school year.

Drivers are urged to eliminate distractions, obey traffic laws and the posted speed limit, wear a seatbelt and always drive sober.

“These reminders really are in place for one specific reason, and that’s so our children can have a safe and a happy school year,” Jackson said.

School zones in Bibb County are active between 5am to 9am, and 2pm to 6pm. Parents of teen drivers are also encouraged to talk to their kids about traffic laws.

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