Officials are working to clarify the new changes to a Georgia law on school buses

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Friday, Aug 3, 2018
News 12 @ 6 O'clock / NBC 26 at 7

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Law officials across Georgia are trying to get clarification on a new law concerning illegally passing school buses, speeding in school zones and the fees associated with those violations.

Lt. Scott Redmon tells us last year Richmond County saw 22 accidents involving school buses and gave away 40 citations to people illegally passing a school bus. Columbia County gave away 22 violations last school year to people illegally passing a school bus.

Lt. Scott Redmon with the Richmond County Traffic Division explains constantly having to stop is something no one wants to do, but is necessary to protect students. "Nobody wants to get behind the bus making the continuous stops. But that's a reality and we have to adjust and plan for that,” said Redmon.

A new Georgia law makes it legal for law enforcement to use cameras to catch and ticket violators who speed in school zones.

Although, Richmond and Columbia County law enforcement officials say they don't have plans to install those cameras right now.

The new law also caps fines for passing a school bus at $250.

It's another part of the law making it legal to pass a school bus if the road has a center turn lane that's confusing law officials.

Solicitor-general for Augusta-Richmond County, Omeeka Loggins, told News 12 in a statement:

 “Prosecutors across the State are concerned if this interpretation is correct, and will work diligently with the State Legislature to make changes in the next legislative session to ensure the safety of all."

For Lt. Redmon this is all the clarification he needs.

"Kids are our most precious resource and we have to be careful.”

Lt. Redmon says they’ll be monitoring more than 70 school zones starting Monday.