Georgia first lady visits Macon to talk about bus safety

Georgia first lady Sandra Deal made a stop in Macon on Monday to help kick off the “Stop Means Stop” campaign, a state initiative to raise awareness about traffic laws prohibiting drivers from passing school buses. Georgia leads the nation in school bus fatalities during recent years.

Deal visited Howard High School with representatives from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, the Georgia Department of Education, Georgia State Patrol and Bibb County schools, said Bibb County schools transportation director Todd Harris.

Those who violate the law can face fines of up to $1,000, a court appearance and six points on their driving record. Those younger than 21 could also get their licenses suspended if they’re convicted.

“It’s something that stakeholders and community members and motorists need to be aware of,” Harris said.

Since 1995, nine children in Georgia have been killed while getting in or out of buses, according to Katie Fallon, public information officer for the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.

Before visiting Howard High, Deal stopped at Springdale Elementary to read to students. She will continue to tour the state Tuesday to promote the initiative.