Cobb County Schools Emphasize Safety During National Stop On Red Week

Cobb County School District will observe National Stop on Red Week 2017, August 6-12, 2017 to draw attention to the serious safety issue of the illegal passing of stopped school buses.

The Federal Highway Administration created National Stop on Red Week to educate drivers about the dangers of running red lights, and to reduce the number and severity of crashes. American Traffic Solutions is promoting National Stop on Red Week.

CCSD is part of the Crossing Guard School Bus Stop Arm program, a comprehensive effort to improve traffic safety for all motorists, cyclists and pedestrians who use our roads.

“Although Stop on Red Week is typically associated with intersection safety, we are extending it to apply to school bus safety. When motorists see a bus flashing red lights, that is a signal for them to stop so that children may get on or off the bus safely. Drivers must abide by traffic laws governing when approaching stopped school buses for the safety of our children,” said Rick Grisham, CCSD Executive Director of Transportation.

More than 11,200 school bus drivers in Georgia counted 8,289 vehicles illegally passing their stopped school buses in one day in 2016, according to the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services. Extended over a 180-day school year, this one-day total amounts to more than 1.4 million vehicles illegally passing school buses in Georgia; an 8.7 percent increase from 2014.

The CrossingGuard® school bus arm safety solution, mounts purpose-built cameras on the side of the school bus. When the stop arm is deployed, the camera automatically detects a vehicle illegally passing the stop arm and captures video of the violation, including the vehicle’s license plate. The images are reviewed by law enforcement prior to a citation being issued. In Georgia, the penalty for a first stop-arm violation is a $300 fine for the first violation. A second violation results in a $750 fine, and a third violation in a five-year period is a $1,000 fine.

Georgia law requires drivers in both directions to come to a complete stop for school buses showing flashing lights and an extended stop arm as students are getting on or off a bus. If the road has a median, the vehicles traveling in the opposite direction of the bus are not required to stop.

The Cobb County School District reminds all drivers to always stop on red.