School bus safety and what drivers need to know - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

School bus safety and what drivers need to know

(Source: Parker Branton/WTVM) (Source: Parker Branton/WTVM)
(Source: Parker Branton/WTVM) (Source: Parker Branton/WTVM)
(Source: Parker Branton/WTVM) (Source: Parker Branton/WTVM)
(Source: Parker Branton/WTVM) (Source: Parker Branton/WTVM)
(Source: Parker Branton/WTVM) (Source: Parker Branton/WTVM)
COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

Classes are already back in session for some students and others will soon go back to school in our area, meaning more people will be hitting the roads.

“We tell all of our officers when they are out there on the road to check these school buses when they’re stopped and to pull over those cars they see that may be passing these school buses," says Lieutenant  Jonathan Mouchet. "Georgia Department of Highway Safety and AAA are teaming up ahead of students, teachers, and parents hitting the roads going back to school."

“You've got an extra 14,000 school buses that are on the road anytime you add more vehicles on the road you will see more accidents we are just asking people when they are out there that they’re seeing these buses on the road and they’re stopping for them and paying attention to their surroundings,” says Mouchet.

In the 2016-17 school year, more than 300 students and drivers were injured in a school bus accident in Georgia. Muscogee County had 7 children injured and a bus driver died in an August 2016 accident.

“It was obviously a very tragic accident where the driver lost his life and our thoughts and prayers go to his family as well as the students that were injured and that just points out the critical importance of wearing seat belts and following all the speed signs we have particularly in school zones," says Muscogee County School District Superintendent David Lewis.

According to law enforcement in Georgia, a conviction for unlawfully passing a school bus carries 6 points on your driving record as well as a 6-month suspension of your driver's license for drivers under the age of 21.

“When we get out here its really to create more education, more awareness, more recognition and to drive the number of crashes down so those accidents don’t result in injuries and fatalities,” says AAA's Sasha Marcinczyk.

[RELATED: Back to school dates in the Chattahoochee Valley]

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