The State Senate moves to fix a problem with a bill that became law last year that many say puts children’s safety at risk.
In the final minutes of last year’s session, both the House and Senate approved the bill unaware it would no longer require cars to stop for school buses if there is a center turn lane.
“Immediately one of my directors of pupil transportation reached out to me and said, ‘Oh y’all have made a fatal error that will put our students at risk all across the state’,” says Sen. Bill Heath (R-Bremen).
His new bill, which passed the Senate unanimously today, reverts to the original law requiring vehicles to always stop unless there is a grassy median or some other physical divider.
It now goes to the House. If approved there, it would go to Gov. Brian Kemp and take effect upon his signature.
Heath says he is still unsure how the bill last year got changed in those final minutes leading to the unintended consequences.
“That’s the problem that we have with the way the Legislature works. When things show up in conference committee reports, sometimes in a substitute bill in committee, or something happens on the floor, the people who are affected by these changes… sometimes they have no warning that the Legislature is about to do something that takes away your liberties,” he says.