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GSP Troopers urge Rockdale County drivers to use caution as new school year begins

CONYERS — Troopers from Georgia State Patrol Post 46 covering Newton, Rockdale and Walton counties will be actively patrolling Rockdale County roadways in the next few weeks as motorists once again become accustomed to traffic associated with students headed back to school. The 2013-14 school year for Rockdale County begins Monday.

SFC Doug Wilson, post commander, said he is urging drivers to exercise caution when traveling in school zones and around school buses.

“Motorists should always be attentive when driving around a school bus and observe the posted speed limit in school zones,” he cautioned.

School zones are marked with flashing lights or posted hours for reduced speeds.

“During the school year, troopers routinely patrol school zones watching for violations that can result in fatal crashes,” he said, adding that fatal crashes involving school buses occur most often when the driver of a smaller passenger vehicle strikes a school bus. “We urge drivers to leave more space around school buses and do not cut them off in traffic.”

State troopers also keep a close watch for drivers who fail to stop for a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children. Georgia law requires vehicles to stop when overtaking or meeting a stopped school bus that is loading or unloading passengers. Drivers traveling in both directions should stop for a school bus that is displaying its red stop lights and has the stop arm activated. The only exceptions are on a controlled-access highway or when the highway is divided in separate roadways. After stopping, the driver may proceed only when the school bus resumes motion or when the flashing lights are no longer activated.

Wilson also cautioned that students waiting at bus stops may not always be alert to dangers around them. “Drivers should be prepared to stop when approaching children waiting for a school bus, especially in early morning hours when visibility is reduced,” he said. “A conviction for unlawfully passing a stopped school bus carries six points on your driving record. For drivers under the age of 21, passing a stopped school bus will result in a six-month suspension of your driver’s license.”

Comments

BUBBA 11 months, 4 weeks ago

I sure hope the county will be out in force in school zones informing drivers to slow down. I have had many encounters with people acting like fools on the school zone on ga 20 at J.H. House. Speed limit is 30mph and folks go through there at 45 and above all the time. The crossing guard was nearly hit last year by a guy in a truck that refused to stop or slow down even though the guard was flagging him to stop to let busses out. Please slow down even if you THINK it is a stupid law the child you hurt may not agree that it is stupid

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ClaytonBigsby 11 months, 4 weeks ago

Isn't the purpose of a "Crossing Guard" to assist children in crossing the street? I'm certainly not defending the rogue truck driver, by the way. Of course, what REALLY grinds my gears is the notion of an off duty officer being used to hold up traffic to allow folks to exit from Church, Inc.

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BUBBA 11 months, 4 weeks ago

you are right but these day with all the pervs out there very few children walk to and from any more. Mostly the Crossing guards just stop traffic to allow busses in and out cars are usually on their own with some exceptions. We have a few parents that walk to get their children at J.H. House weather permitting. most of the problems I have seen is people not slowing at all and showing disrespect for those that do. If you slow down someone is bound to ride your bumper so close you cant see the front of their car thinking you will speed up if they do so.

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