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Did you know you can get a ticket for passing a bus?

Staying on top of changes to traffic laws can be hard work. Yet, police officers are unlikely to be sympathetic if you break a rule and tell them you did not know about it.

Everyone knows there are rules covering speeding, stopping at lights, not driving while drunk and so on. Yet you might not be aware there are also rules governing when you can pass a school bus. In 2019 Georgia lawmakers tightened the existing state law after a driver hit a group of children crossing the highway to catch their bus.

When can you pass a stopped school bus?

You cannot pass a stopped school bus. All drivers must come to a halt until the bus moves on again. The only exception is drivers going in the opposite direction on the other side of the highway where a physical barrier exists. That could be a metal division or a median strip of unpaved road or grass. They can proceed with caution. Everyone traveling in the same direction of the bus or traveling in the opposite direction where there is no division in the road must stop and wait.

Can I pass the bus if the driver has not put on the lights or put out the stop arm?

It is better to be safe. If the school bus has stopped, so should you, especially if you see children looking to cross. School bus drivers need to play their part in keeping kids safe by turning on the lights or putting the stop arm out. Yet, they might forget, or there might be a mechanical malfunction. If the driver did not do their part, it might help you defend against any resulting traffic violation.