Riverdale parent catches drivers behaving badly in a school zone

School safety officials have desperate plea to all metro Atlanta drivers; slow down.
Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 5:31 PM EDT
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RIVERDALE, Ga. (CBS46) – School safety officials have desperate plea to all metro Atlanta drivers; slow down. Schools are back in session and that means school buses packed with children are back on the roads.

A Riverdale parent witnessed drivers behaving badly on the first day of school in Clayton County. So she took out her phone and recorded them doing exactly what safety officials are afraid of.

In the video, you can see vehicle after vehicle crossing over the double yellow line to pass cars waiting in line for school pick-up.

The video, shot by Eva Jane Bunkley along Church Street in Riverdale, is three minutes long. In it, you can see more than a dozen vehicles risking their lives and others - passing multiple stopped vehicles even though there was oncoming traffic.

“People were speeding up even beyond the 25 mph way beyond the 25 mph, probably even beyond the 35 mile an hour it normally is to get around the traffic,” said Eva Jane Bunkley of Riverdale.

CBS46 showed the video to Officer Matt Kelly of the Georgia Department of Public Safety. He says these drivers were clearly breaking the law.

“Someone behind the wheel, a renegade driver that just puts their own schedule, their own needs ahead is a missed priority,” Officer Kelly said.

As school districts all across the metro begin classes this week and next week, it’s a stark reminder of the dangers kids face every day on their way to school. AAA is out with a new survey that found this past school year, more than 11,000 Georgia school bus drivers saw cars illegally passed their bus. That equals out to nearly 8,000 times in a single day.

A day after Bunkley recorded video of drivers passing stopped cars in a school zone, more cars were lined up. But this time school police stepped up their presence. Bunkley was out there as well, on the lookout.

“Because I know that it takes a village. I want someone if it was my small child, if they were doing something that was unsafe or if they were in a situation, I’d want somebody looking out for them,” said Bunkley.

School leaders and safety officials are reminding drivers to take it slow, don’t drive distracted, and follow the rules of the road. It’s illegal to pass a stopped school bus with yellow flashing lights on and/or the red stop sign arm extended. If caught and convicted, you risk up to six points on your license.