An 8-year-old boy is in critical condition after being struck by a minivan that failed to stop for a school bus’s flashing lights, authorities aid.
The Sue Reynolds Elementary pupil was crossing the westbound lane of the 3800 block of Belair Road about 7:10 a.m. to board bus No. 72 when a 2007 Chrysler Town & Country driven by Scott William Hancock, 20, of Augusta, hit him. Police and witnesses said the bus arms, stop sign and flashing lights were working. Conditions were cloudy.
Deputies closed the two-lane road for more than a hour as they documented the crash and spoke to witnesses.
Another bus was taken to the scene to pick up children who had already boarded bus No. 72.
Hancock has been charged with failure to stop for a school bus while loading or unloading. Further charges are pending, police said.
The victim was taken to Georgia Regents Medical Center.
WHAT THE LAW SAYS
Georgia law requires drivers to stop when meeting or overtaking a stopped school bus that has its red lights flashing and stop arm extended when loading and unloading passengers.
All vehicles traveling in both directions must stop on a two-lane road or a multi-lane road that is paved all the way across without a barrier or median. When a school bus is stopped on a divided highway with a dirt, grass or barrier median, vehicles traveling behind the bus must stop. Drivers traveling in the opposite direction must use caution.
Violation of the law carries a fine of $300 for the first offense, $750 for the second offense and $1,000 for the third and every subsequent offense in a five-year period.
SCHOOL BUS SAFETY
Be alert and watch for children during morning hours when children walk to and wait at school bus stops.
Begin to slow down and look for students when you see a bus with yellow flashing lights.
Never speed up to beat a school bus.
Stop when you see the flashing red lights and stop arm in use.
Remain stopped until all students have loaded the bus or all unloading students have cleared 12 feet of the roadway. Resume driving only after the red lights and stop arm have been deactivated.
Do not pass other vehicles or make U-turns in school zones or at crosswalks.
Source: Georgia Department of Education