Metro Atlanta areas, including Forsyth County, are cracking down on drivers that pass school buses when they are loading or unloading. Under Georgia law, it is illegal to pass a school bus on the same roadway, if the bus is stopped and displaying its required lights and warning signals. Drivers must stay stopped until the school bus resumes motion, or the signals or no longer activated. Georgia code section 40-6-163 is the law dealing with your duties to a stopped school bus and if you have been charged under this law, the above numbers will usually appear on your citation.
In addition to facing criminal charges for passing by a school bus, Georgia's law also allows for civil penalties. A school bus equipped with a camera or other recording device can now be used to prosecute a case in the civil courts, with monetary penalties ranging from $300 to $1,000. However, the county must choose to prosecute the case either in the civil or criminal courts; you cannot be prosecuted in both.
If you have been issued a ticket or citation for passing a school bus in Forsyth or other Metro Atlanta counties, you are facing six points on your Georgia driving history (same points for a DUI conviction) as well as heavy fines, court ordered community service, defensive driving classes, and possible court ordered probation. One article also cites a representative from State Farm saying that a passing a school bus ticket will typically raise your insurance rates by 80%! If you have been ticketed, call me today and I will discuss your case with you. Our first appointment is no-cost and you are not obligated to use our services. Our firm routinely handles these violations here in Forsyth County and will be happy to share our expertise with you.