Florida school buses are hitting the roads as the new school year begins. Since it has been months since school buses were used, it is a perfect time for a refresher course ton when you are required to stop for a school bus.
Florida law states that when on a two way street or highway, all drivers moving in either direction must stop for a stopped school bus which is picking up or dropping off children. You must remain stopped until all children are clear of the roadway and the bus’ stop arm is withdrawn. However, if the road is divided by a raised barrier or an unpaved median at least five feet wide, you do not have to stop if you are moving in the opposite direction of the bus. It is important to note that painted lines or pavement markings are not considered barriers so you will have to stop. You must always stop if you are moving in the same direction as the bus and you must remain stopped until the bus stop arm is withdrawn.
In addition, remember that last year’s Wireless Communications While Driving Law prohibits the use of a wireless communications device in a handheld manner while driving in a designated school crossing, school zone, or active work zone area. Violators commit a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a moving violation, that includes a base $60 fine, not including court costs or other fees, and will have 3 points assessed against the driver license.
As of January 1, 2021, the penalties for failure to stop for a school bus double. The penalty for failure to stop for a school bus goes from a minimum $100 to $200 and if a second offense is committed in 5 years, the person’s license will be suspended for up to 1 year. The penalty for passing a school bus on the side that children enter and exit when the school bus displays a stop signal goes from a minimum of $200 to $400 and if a second offense is committed in 5 years, the person’s license can be suspended up to 2 years.
Drive safely – especially in school zones and around school buses – and watch out for those you don’t!
Attorneys Matthew Noyes and Lorrie Robinson help families who are impacted by a Tampa Bay car accident. Attorney Matthew Noyes even wrote a book on it – Do You Really Need An Attorney After a Car Accident. If you have questions after a car accident, call Personal Injury Attorney Matthew Noyes at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.