School is back in session! That means school buses will permeate our streets. So, this may be the best time for a reminder of when you must stop for a school bus and the penalties associated with not stopping.
In a 180-day school year, it is estimated that there are almost two million illegal “pass-by’s” of Florida school buses, each representing the possibility of tragic injuries or fatalities to students. Florida law requires that motorists stop upon approaching any school bus which displays its flashing red lights and has its stop signs extended. However, Florida law does state that the driver of a vehicle upon a divided highway with an unpaved space of at least 5 feet, a raised median, or a physical barrier is not required to stop when traveling in the opposite direction of a school bus which is stopped. Better to err on the side of caution if you are not sure about how long the unpaved space is.
The penalties for not stopping for a school bus are $165 for a left hand pass. A subsequent one in 5 years will result in a license suspension for 90 days to 6 months. If you illegal pass a school bus on the right, the fine for the first offense is $265. A second or subsequent offense (within 5 years) will result in the fine and a license suspension for 180 days to one year, plus a mandatory hearing. Failure to stop for a school bus will result in 4 points being assessed against your license.
So, watch out for school buses–both to prevent hurting or killing school children as well as avoiding fines and suspension. Drive safely and watch out for those who don’t. Now, get to class!
Personal Injury Attorney Matthew Noyes represents those injured in car accidents, bicycle accidents, motorcycle crashes and other personal injuries matters. His Clearwater personal injury law firm — Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes — has been caring for clients since 1955. Click here for a free case consultation with Attorney Matthew Noyes.