With the new school year kicking off on Tuesday, August 1, the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office is calling on drivers to exercise caution in school zones and near school buses to ensure the safety of young students.
Sheriff Gary Gulledge emphasized that deputies will be actively patrolling school zones as part of their daily operations, with a particular focus on drivers who fail to stop when school buses are loading or unloading passengers.
Motorists are reminded that Georgia law requires them to stop in both directions for school buses displaying flashing red lights and an activated stop arm, except on controlled access highways or divided roadways. Once the bus resumes motion or the lights stop flashing, drivers may proceed.
The Paulding County Sheriff’s Office Traffic Unit is urging drivers to maintain extra care and leave sufficient space when traveling near a school bus, especially when following one.
According to Sheriff Gulledge, drivers who tailgate school buses put themselves and others at risk, as frequent stops are a part of a bus’s routine. He emphasized the need for extreme caution near school buses and advised drivers to abide by the posted speed limits in school zones.
Gulledge also highlighted the importance of being alert for children waiting for the school bus, particularly during the early morning hours when visibility is reduced. He noted that children may not always be aware of their surroundings or passing vehicles, underscoring the need for drivers to be prepared to stop when approaching bus stops.
Gulledge sternly warned that unlawfully passing a school bus carries severe consequences, including six points on the driver’s record and a six-month suspension of the driver’s license for those under 21 years old.
As the school year begins, it is crucial that all motorists prioritize the safety of students on Paulding County roadways. Stay vigilant in school zones, be mindful of school bus regulations, and exercise caution when approaching bus stops.
For more information and updates from the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office, visit their website at sheriff.paulding.gov.