Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) urges drivers to practice back to school safety when driving particularly when approaching or following school buses.
DDS Commissioner Spencer R. Moore commented “Back to school brings extra traffic congestion on the roads, so please allow extra time to get to your destination. It’s never more important for drivers to slow down and pay attention than when children and school buses are present, especially before and after school.”
Drivers are required to stop when approaching or meeting a stopped school bus that has its lights flashing and is loading or unloading passengers. The exception to this rule is when highways are separated in the center by median strips. In this situation, only vehicles following or traveling alongside a school bus in the same direction must stop.
A warning will be given in advance by the flashing red or amber lights on the front and rear of the bus. After stopping, drivers must remain stopped until the bus resumes motion or deactivates its warning signals and all loading or unloading passengers have cleared the roadway. A conviction of failure to stop for a school bus will add six (6) points to the driver’s motor vehicle record. DDS is authorized to suspend a license if its records or other evidence shows that a driver has accumulated fifteen (15) points within twenty-four (24) months under the point system, including violations committed out of state.
Please be cautious when traveling behind or alongside school buses, in residential areas or school districts where school buses are likely to be loading or unloading. Remain alert for school children walking along the road, crossing the road, or waiting on the side of the road for the bus. Safety of the children in the area takes priority over the signals on the bus.
The Georgia Department of Education and county school systems are responsible for the recruitment, training, testing and administration of student transportation. The Department of Public Safety Motor Carrier Compliance Division is the responsible agency for the inspection of school buses for mechanical safety.
Please visit DDS online as many driver licensing transactions may be done without visiting a center in person. If you must come in person, please prepare by completing the necessary paperwork before arriving. To access the necessary Form for License/ID/Permit that allows you to prepare your information before visiting a Customer Service Center, please visit www.dds.georgia.gov.