Duluth police observe National Bus Safety Week

DULUTH - National School Bus Safety Week begins today, and the Duluth Police Department is using this week to monitor traffic around school bus stops.

Drivers who ignore and illegally pass buses that are stopped on the roadways will be ticketed.

This is part of "Operation Safe Stop," a local school bus safety initiative with education, enforcement and community involvement as its focal points.

Vehicles should always prepare to stop when the amber-colored light is flashing on the bus.

It is illegal to pass a bus when the red light is flashing and the stop sign on the side of the bus is extended, and all vehicles must stop unless the bus is on the other side of a physical divide such as a concrete or grassy median.

Studies show that more than 1,100 children have been killed in the nation since 1970 while boarding or exiting a school bus. Countless others have been injured.

A study was conducted in Duluth on Aug. 28 with 45 school bus drivers, and a total of 137 vehicles illegally passed busses. That number over one full year is 24,660 in Duluth alone.

The state Department of Education estimates that there are approximately 1 million stop-arm violations per year across Georgia.

National School Bus Safety will last until Saturday.