More than 5,000 stop-arm camera citations issued from last August to June

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Tomorrow thousands of children in Bibb County will go back to school, and safety officials with the school district want people on the roads to drive accordingly.

“This is about student safety–plain and simple,” said Macon-Bibb County Tax Solicitor Rebecca Grist.

With just one day until buses are back on the streets, officials with the transportation department are warning drivers to stop when they see the stop-arm out on buses–or pay the fine attached.

Like the wheels of more than 150 Bibb County School buses expected to be en route tomorrow, the cameras are still rolling.

“We’ll begin our second year of operating our stop-arm cameras on our buses,” said Transportation Director Anthony Jackson.

School officials added stop-arm cameras last august as a safety measure for students.

“The most dangerous time for a student is during the loading and unloading process,” Jackson told 41NBC. “We knew it was a problem and we wanted to figure a way to address it,” Grist continued.

Since then, thousands of violators have been ticketed.

“Yes, it’s a ticket but what if it were a child that were running into the road?” Grist said.

Last year more than 4,600 citations were issued to drivers who didn’t stop. This year they hope to see the number of infractions decrease.

“Enforcement will definitely continue. It’s very important for motorist to understand the need for them to be alert when they’re around school buses and school bus stops,” Jackson explained.

Their biggest concern is student safety while getting on or off the bus.

So, save yourself the time and money a ticket costs and think about the children.

“When you see the yellow lights of a school bus prepare to stop,” Jackson added.

The fine for passing a bus while the stop-arm is up last year was up to $300. After the last legislative session, the law changed reducing the maximum fine to $250.

As of June 30th the district issued more than 5,000 tickets–factoring in buses that ran over the summer.

Safety officials recommend leaving earlier than you normally would starting tomorrow, so that you’re not in a rush and tempted to speed around a school bus or in a school zone.

Categories: Bibb County, Local News

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