Head's up drivers: New laws about school buses in effect

GAINESVILLE, Ga. — As students return to school this week, school transportation officials are alerting parents about a law change that critics say could put children at risk.

Channel 2's Carol Sbarge learned that the law loosens the rules for how drivers approach stopped school buses across every school district in Georgia.

According to the new guidelines, if a bus is stopped to drop off kids on a four-lane road with a turn lane in the middle, drivers coming in the opposite direction aren't required to stop.

The rule change was part of a larger, provisional traffic bill that went into effect last month.

Sbarge talked to critics who think the rule change is a bad idea.

“It’s kinda common sense, you know? You got kids getting off of a bus, getting from one side of the street to the other (You should) stop,” Austin Lassiter, a recent graduate, told Sbarge. "I personally think it's a bad decision."


A school transportation group representing 102 counties raised concerns about the rule change -- but the law still passed.

Residents in Gainesville, which goes back to school Wednesday, were urging drivers to be aware of the new law and to pay close attention to the road.

“There’s a lot of like accidents that go on in the news that kids are getting run over because cars don’t stop,” graduate Ruby Reyes said. “Before you go, just try to stop and look both ways and just be careful, because there’s a lot of accidents that happen like that."

On two-lane roads, even those with a center turning lane, all traffic from both directions still has to stop when a school bus lets children off.