For kids, riding the school bus is one of the most exciting parts of going to school. Waiting at the bus stop for that big yellow bus to pull up, climbing those steps and greeting the bus driver, shuffling down the aisle to find your friends saving your seat on one of the benches - it's a rite of passage for all students!
The school bus is where they get to connect with their friends, talk about their day, and generally just be kids before the day starts and after a long day at school. While kids may see the bus as a fun mode of transportation, parents likely have a few more issues with it. For a lot of parents, letting their kids ride the bus is not an easy decision. A lot of bullying can happen on school buses, since kids are essentially unsupervised or out of earshot of the driver.
It's also scary to imagine your child riding on a bus in the event of an accident, or being put in danger when exiting the bus! School buses are generally very safe, but parents always imagine the worst case scenario, don't we? Luckily, there are rules of the road in place to protect school buses and their precious cargo. Parents depend on these rules to keep their kiddos safe, so you can imagine how upset some parents were to find out the law was changing.
Most states have laws in place that require other drivers to stop when a school bus is stopped and has its blinking stop sign out. This is meant to allow kids to safely exit the school bus, and cross the street if necessary. It's hard to see around a big yellow bus, and its difficult for other drivers to see kids beginning to cross the street when they're driving by. However, Georgia has changed that law, and the change is upsetting a lot of parents. According to House Bill 978, which went into effect on July 1, cars that are traveling in the opposite direction of the bus no longer need to stop when the blinking signs are out, as long as there is a median or turn lane separating the two driving lanes.
It takes a few minutes out of your day to stop when a school bus is stopped, and it guarantees the safety of the kids on that bus. Considering plenty of people ignore those blinking stop signs already, making it legal to ignore them in certain situations seems like a bad idea. Hopefully, people continue to stop and put the safety of those little bus riders ahead of their own convenience.