Drivers Cited for Passing School Buses

Penalties range from a fine to a license suspension for passing the vehicles while they're letting children off.

 cited three drivers on the first day of school for not stopping for school bus stop-arms.

Sgt. Dana Pierce said he didn't have any information on citations that might have been issued Tuesday and Wednesday.

This comes a month after the with American Traffic Solutions to issue tickets for failing to stop for the arms, which are designed to protect students entering and leaving buses. The agreement allows ATS to collect $300 from first-time violators.

Other penalties include a possible court appearance, a fine up to $1,000, six points on a driving record and a license suspension for convicted drivers under 21 years old, Cobb Commissioner Helen Goreham said.

Drivers caught by the cameras fixed on the buses must pay a $300 fine for the first offense, $750 for the second and $1,000 for the third.

Last year, stop-arm cameras as part of a pilot program. The cameras can catch license plates up to 100 yards away.

In Acworth, police officers have written two tickets for stop-arm violations this week, and in Austell, one citation was issued, an operator said.

Greater stop-arm enforcement was prompted by the 2009 death of 5-year-old Mountain View Elementary student Karla Campos, who was struck by an elderly driver as she departed a bus.

Each school bus is illegally passed once every day on average and, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 20 children under the age of 19 die every year getting on and off buses, Goreham said.

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