Aug 12

Do You Know When You Have to Stop for a School Bus?

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when to stop for a school busAnother school year is beginning so to avoid causing injuries or getting a ticket because you did not properly stop for a school bus, let’s refresh ourselves on Florida’s law regarding when you are required to stop for a school bus.

Florida law (Section 316.172) states as follows:

(1) Any person using, operating, or driving a vehicle on or over the roads or highways of this state shall, upon approaching any school bus which displays a stop signal, bring such vehicle to a full stop while the bus is stopped, and the vehicle shall not pass the school bus until the signal has been withdrawn. A person who violates this section commits a moving violation, punishable as provided in chapter 318.

(2) 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 in accordance with the provisions of this section.

If there an unpaved space (grassy median) of at least 5 feet, or a raised median, or a physical barrier, you do not have to stop for a school bus on the other side of the road.  When in doubt, stop. You much rather have someone honking at you than risking hurting a child getting on or off the school bus.

Florida Statute 318.18(5) sets out the penalties for failing to stop for a school bus. They are:

• $165 for failure to stop for a school bus. If, at a hearing, the alleged offender is found to have committed this offense, the court shall impose a minimum civil penalty of $165. In addition to this penalty, for a second or subsequent offense within a period of 5 years, the department shall suspend the driver license of the person for not less than 90 days and not more than 6 months.

• $265 for passing a school bus on the side that children enter and exit when the school bus displays a stop signal. If, at a hearing, the alleged offender is found to have committed this offense, the court shall impose a minimum civil penalty of $265. In addition to this penalty, for a second or subsequent offense within a period of 5 years, the department shall suspend the driver license of the person for not less than 180 days and not more than 1 year.

• $1,500 if failure to stop causes or results in serious bodily injury to or death of another. In addition to this penalty, the department shall suspend the driver license of the person for not less than 1 year.

So drive carefully and be alert for school buses. Your alertness can save a life and prevent you from getting a ticket.

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