School buses to catch mo­torists il­le­gally pass­ing at stops

The Covington News - - LOCAL - KAYLA ROBINS krobins@cov­

Now that school is back in full swing, New­ton County’s road­ways are busier with stu­dents get­ting on and off of buses twice a day.

Pass­ing a school bus while stu­dents are board­ing of dis­em­bark­ing the bus at a stop is il­le­gal in Ge­or­gia, and the New­ton County School Sys­tem (NCSS) has re­minded lo­cal mo­torists that many district buses are equipped with cam­eras that record when a ve­hi­cle passes a stopped bus il­le­gally.

“The school bus stop photo en­force­ment pro­gram pro­vides us with an ef­fi­cient way to en­force school bus stop laws and bet­ter safe­guard the chil­dren who ride the bus,” said Cort­ney Mor­ri­son, pub­lic in­for­ma­tion of­fi­cer of the New­ton County Sher­iff’s Of­fice.

Cam­era records of the vi­o­la­tion are sent to the New­ton County Sher­iff’s Of­fice (NCSO) for the is­suance of tick­ets.

NCSS and the NCSO of­fi­cially launched the school bus stop photo en­force­ment pro­gram in Au­gust 2012, with 25 of the school sys­tem’s buses cur­rently out­fit­ted with high-res­o­lu­tion cam­eras. The cam­eras, which are sup­plied and op­er­ated by Amer­i­can Traf­fic So­lu­tions, cap­ture pho­tos and video of mo­torists who il­le­gally pass school buses while stu­dents are board­ing or dis­em­bark­ing at bus stops, ac­cord­ing to an NCSS press re­lease.

Ac­cord­ing to Ge­or­gia law, the penalty for a vi­o­la­tion caught on these cam­eras is $300 for the first ticket and $750 for a sec­ond of­fense. A third vi­o­la­tion within a fiveyear pe­riod rings in a $1,000 fine.

“The part­ner­ship be­tween the school sys­tem, Amer­i­can Traf­fic So­lu­tions and the New­ton County Sher­iff’s Of­fice,” said Michael Barr, NCSS direc­tor of sup­port ser­vices, “pro­vides us with a way to bet­ter pro­tect stu­dents as they travel to and from school.”

Sub­mit­ted photo /The Cov­ing­ton News

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