The Senate passed its first significant legislation Thursday to clarify a law about when vehicles must stop for school buses.
For years, Georgia law required motorists – on both sides of the road – to stop when a school bus extends its stop arm unless the way had a grassy or concrete median, and in that case, oncoming traffic could continue to move.
However, last year on the last day of the legislative session lawmakers passed a bill allowing vehicles to catch a school bus if the road had a turning lane.
As soon as it passed, school transportation officials called foul.
Sen. Bill Heath, (R -Bremen), said he received a call from a school transportation official who told him lawmakers “made a fatal error” that would put “students at risk across the state.”
“I doubt if anything happened. I did have a judge that said he prosecuted thousands of violations of the law as it was previously,” Heath said.
The Senate passed the bill unanimously, and Heath expects quick action by the house to get it to the governor’s desk. A provision in the legislation allows the governor to sign it early and not wait until after the legislative session, so that it becomes law, and makes roads safer for children, as soon as possible.