As the new school year is set to begin, Cobb Police Department staff are conducting Operation Stop Arm and warning all drivers to respect school buses. Georgia has a School Bus Stop Law. All traffic in both directions must stop when school buses stop for passengers, except when there is a divided highway of four lanes or more with a median separation. In that case, only traffic following the bus must stop. On average, each school bus is illegally passed once every day and according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 20 children under the age of 19 die every year as pedestrians getting on and off buses.
When an officer catches drivers violating this law, the penalties are a possible court appearance, an up to $1,000 fine, six points on driving record and a license suspension for convicted drivers under 21 years old. When a stop arm camera catches drivers, the penalties are a $300 fine for the first offense, $750 fine for the second offense and $1,000 fine for the third offense, within a five year period. For more information, visit operationstoparm.info.