Georgia Criminal Defense Blog

Georgia Has a New School Bus Passing Law Effective July 1, 2024

Posted by Richard Lawson | Jun 26, 2024 | 0 Comments

In a continued effort to bolster the safety of school children, Georgia has enacted Addy's School Bus Law. Named after a young girl, Addy, who was tragically killed after a driver passed a school bus that was stopped with the arm out, this law seeks to improve the safety measures surrounding school bus transportation. Let's explore the key elements of Addy's School Bus Law, its provisions, and the anticipated impact on Georgia drivers for unlawfully passing a school bus

The Origins of Addy's School Bus Law

Addy, a young student, was involved in a preventable accident that catalyzed the need for more stringent safety measures. Georgia legislators state the law aims to prevent such tragedies in the future by implementing comprehensive safety standards for school bus operations.

What is New About This Law?

Right now, passing a school bus is considered a misdemeanor traffic offense that includes up to 12 months in jail, up to $1,000 in fines, or both. Most of the time the fine is less than $500, and there is no risk of jail-time or probation. 

However, after July 1, 2024, the new law has raised the penalty to be considered a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature. The fine will increase to a minumum of $1,000 and will still come with up to 12 months in jail. This will also result in points being added to your license as well. Unlawfully passing a school bus comes with 6 points on your license. For drivers under 21, an offense for which four or more points are assessed, will suspend your license for a six month period. For drivers over 21, an accumulation of 15 or more points in any 24 month period will suspend your license for 1 year. So accumulating 6 points for passing a school bus can have a major impact on your life, which is why you need a Georgia Unlawful Passing a School Bus Attorney

Another new feature of this law is that moving forward there will be a requirement for all school buses to be equipped with stop-arm cameras. These cameras will capture footage of vehicles that illegally pass a stopped school bus, providing law enforcement with the evidence needed to issue citations and ensure accountability. It is important that Georgia drivers pay attention to this change because even if they don't see a law enforcement officer, they could still be charged under the statute.

Changes to Mailed Tickets Effective July 1, 2024

In the past, drivers may have received a ticket via mail for unlawfully passing a school bus. This has been a civil infraction punishable by a fine of $250.00. However, the new law going into effect July 1, will increase the penalty from $250.00 to $1,000.00. Right now, for a first offense, the civil infraction does not carry any points or go on your motor vehicle record. However after July 1, upon a second or subsequent violation, the new law allows for law enforcement to notify the driver's car  insurance company of the violations.

Contact Our Offices Today

If you are pulled over or find yourself charged, it is critical that you reach out to an experienced Georgia Unlawfully Passing a School Bus Lawyer today. There is no time to waste and our offices are open 24/7 to answer your call. With decades of experience defending Georgia drivers, we are ready to assist with your case. Call now.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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