A local school official on Wednesday echoed the concern of state school officials over a change in law this year. They say it does not reflect best practices to ensure student safety and could endanger Georgias kids as they travel to and from school.
The law which took effect July 1, does not require a vehicle traveling on a three or five lane road that is divided by a center turn lane, to stop for a school bus that is stopped on the opposite side of the road with its visual signals engaged.
Director of Transportation for Carrollton City Schools, Alan Alford said he is hopeful the new law can be rescinded. In the meantime, he encouraged area drivers to continue using extreme caution whenever they are anywhere near a stopped or slowing school bus.
We are trying to make sure that our drivers do everything possible to make sure that all of our drops are safe. The thing that is happening is that it is really going to confuse the public we think, said Alford. For a two lane roads, that law remains the same, they must stop. Being behind the bus and traveling in the same direction, you have to sop regardless of the number of lanes.
Alford said another concern is that the new law does not line up with surrounding states and that could be confusing for drivers visiting from out of state, not to mention, local drivers who are simply unaware of the new law.
As far as Carrollton City School bus routes which are affected by the new law, Alford asks for continued caution.
Be careful around Bankhead Highway, Newnan Road, North and South Park Street. Those are places where people are going to be freed up now to pass the school bus if they are traveling in the opposite direction. We just want them to proceed with caution. We want them to recognize that unloading and loading of a school bus is very, very challenging and can be dangerous.
State Schools Superintendent, Richard Woods has asked that the issue be readdressed during the upcoming legislative session.