On Tuesday, Forsyth County Sheriff's Office shared crime statistics for November 2017. According to Patch.com: “There were 4,694 service calls, of that, 673 were traffic accidents, and 609 were alarm calls. There were 54 DUIs, 21 shoplifting arrests and 36 drug arrests. There were also 24 passing school bus citations.”
In Georgia, all traffic on either side of the road (unless divided by a median) must stop when a school bus has stopped and flashed its warning signals.
On a yearly average, there are roughly 34,000 instances of illegal school bus passings in Forsyth County. Forsyth County Sheriff, Ron Freeman said, “This is not about catching people and giving tickets to get money. It's about keeping our children safe.”
In 2016, Fulton County approved the school bus camera proposal. The Fulton County Commission Chairman recognized the risk for students and encouraged using school bus cameras to catch these traffic violations in the act. School districts have followed Fulton's lead. These districts include Athens-Clarke, Macon-Bibb, Clayton, Cobb, Fulton, Douglas, Gwinnett, Habersham and Paulding. Forsyth is in the process of following in their footsteps.
Unlawful Passing of a School Bus Citations in Georgia
The Unlawful Passing of a School Bus is one of the most severe traffic offenses in Georgia. When a motorist illegally passes a school bus, he or she places innocent, young children in risk of being seriously hurt or, worse, killed. There are two types of school bus citations. The first type is when cited by a camera, just as in red light cameras, it is a civil infraction meaning no points are associated. You cannot be jailed but can have your license suspended if you ignore the case. As a result we don't take cases that are made by a camera where the person gets a citation in the mail. We cannot provide enough value to the client to make it worthwhile.
The second type is when a police officer issues a school bus citation. It's a 6 point offense, and a full misdemeanor. In fact, almost all Georgia traffic offenses are full misdemeanors. As a result, you are entitled to a jury trial, since you can go to jail for 12 months and pay a fine of $1000. So, when a driver is charged by a police officer with passing a school bus, it's a serious offense. It's a 6 point offense, which is even more than reckless driving at 4 points. Even running a red light is 3 points, and a full misdemeanor when issued by a police officer.
If you have been charged with passing a school bus or with driving under the influence in Georgia as a first or repeat offender, the outcome of your case will greatly depend on the caliber of your legal representative. Contact one of our Georgia DUI attorneys for a free consultation on your case.