When to Stop for a School Bus

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Attorney Brittany Partridge is here to talk about when we’re required to stop for school buses!

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►Hi, my name is Brittany Partridge and I’m one of the attorneys here at Butler Kahn. As school’s about to start, I wanted to take a few minutes and talk to you about our duties as drivers here in Georgia and when we’re required to stop for school buses.
►Now, this is all laid out in OCGA 40-6-163, which I’ve written year for you. But first, let’s talk about when we as drivers are required to stop. We’re most used to a situation in our neighborhoods, smaller roads where there’s maybe two lanes of travel and a paint line, or maybe no paint line at all dividing the two directions of travel. I think most of us know we’re required to stop, both sides, if you’re coming towards the bus or going with the bus, you’re not allowed to go around the bus and you must stop and wait for the bus to continue on.
►Now, next is a situation where you’re on a larger road and there’s maybe two lanes of travel going this way and the other two coming this way. And there’s a concrete barrier or grassy barrier, but there’s a physical divide between those two directions of travel that’s really important. Whenever you have that physical divide, only the drivers behind the school bus are required to stop. So you can see that here. We have the stop sign here, and the other vehicles who are coming towards the bus are only required to exercise caution. But again, this is only when there is a physical divide between the two directions of travel.
►Now, some people may think that a physical divide would be the center lane of travel, when we’re going to be turning oftentimes, but that’s actually not the case. If there is a center turn lane, all directions of travel are required to stop, but the next step is when does that duty actually occur? Whenever we see a bus? Whenever we see that stop sign? It’s actually whenever the lights on the bus begin to flash. So most school buses have amber lights, orangy, red lights that will begin to flash. And once those lights begin to flash, you are required to stop. It’s not when the stop sign is fully extended, partially extended, it’s when those lights begin. Some drivers think it’s only when that stop sign is fully out and that everybody can see, but that’s actually not the case.
►So let’s keep our kids safe, keep our family safe, keep you safe, and ensure that we stop when we need to for school buses here in Georgia. If you have any questions, please reach out to us at Butler Kahn. Thank you.

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