MARIETTA, Ga. — Illegal passing of Marietta City Schools buses has dropped by nearly half in two years.
The district recently participated again in the nationwide stop-arm violation count, which is organized annually by the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services.
In 2012, Marietta City Schools reported 192 illegal passing incidents in the one-day count. Last year, 156 were reported. This year, the total was down to 112 — a 42% decrease in two years.
District officials said that the declining data seem to indicate that motorists have become aware of the requirement to stop for stopped school buses and the penalties that they can incur if they break the law.
“This is a great step forward in seeing a remarkable downward shift in cars passing stopped school buses," said Mark Lindstrom, the district's director of transportation. "I need to thank the bus drivers for making the stops correctly and the many drivers in Marietta who are taking the right and safe path, which is stopping for a school bus.”
One of the contributing factors in this year's decrease in violations could be the addition of stop-arm cameras. In October of last year, Marietta City Schools equipped 12 of its buses (just over 20% of its regular-education fleet) with American Traffic Solutions' CrossingGuard system.
Since the installation, 830 stop-arm violation citations have been issued by the Marietta Police Department. Fines increase from $300 for a first offense to $500 for a second and $750 for a third. Each citation also assesses six points on the driver's license.