Death of 8-Year-Old Girl Inspires ‘Addy’s Law’ in Georgia to Keep Kids Safe Getting Off The Bus

February 20, 2024
1 min read

The Gist: Georgia lawmakers are proposing tougher penalties for passing a school bus, inspired by the tragic death of an 8-year-old girl.

The Details: In response to a devastating event, State Representative Lauren Daniel (R-Locust Grove) has introduced House Bill 1284, known as “Addy’s Law.” Named after Adalyn Pierce, an 8-year-old girl from Henry County killed by a driver while crossing the road to her school bus, the bill seeks to stiffen penalties for those reckless enough to pass a stopped school bus.

The proposed legislation also encourages schools to design bus routes that avoid making children cross roads with speed limits over 40 mph. This move, supported by cosponsors Representatives Clint Crowe (R-Jackson) and Karen Mathiak (R-Griffin), aims at enhancing the safety of schoolchildren across Georgia.

By The Numbers:

  • Speed limit consideration: Over 40 mph for safer bus stops.
  • Penalty increase: A high and aggravated misdemeanor, with a fine of no less than $1,000 or confinement of no less than 12 months, or both.

The Big Picture: The tragic loss of young Adalyn Pierce has galvanized Georgia lawmakers into action, highlighting a nationwide concern for the safety of children on their way to and from school. This legislation reflects a growing trend of implementing stricter measures to protect schoolchildren from traffic-related incidents.

Why It Matters: “Addy’s Law” represents more than just a legislative reaction to a singular tragic event; it’s a statement on the value placed on the safety of our children. It acknowledges the responsibility of drivers to respect school bus signals and the need for systemic changes to ensure children’s safety on their daily commutes.

What’s Next?: As HB 1284 makes its way through the legislative process, its progress will be closely watched by parents, educators, and lawmakers alike. The bill’s passage would mark a significant step forward in preventing future tragedies and making Georgia’s roads safer for its youngest pedestrians.

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