THE DAYS OF SUMMER ARE COMING TO AN END
AND SCHOOL WILL SOON BEGIN
(Be aware of school bus stops and school crossings)
The lazy days of summer are coming to an end and school will soon be in session once again. Thus, those yellow buses will be appearing on our roadways and school crossings will become very active as well. Make sure to pay attention to the school zones and take heed of the posted lower speed limits as the fines are doubled for
this moving violation and you will receive points against your license upon conviction of the offense.
Under Florida Statute 316.172, it states that you must come to a full stop when approaching a school bus which displays a stop signal and you may not pass until the signal has been withdrawn. A person that violates this statute commits a moving violation and has to attend a mandatory hearing before the court.
Vehicles traveling in both directions may not pass a stopped school bus when traveling on a two lane road or multi-lane road paved across with no divide in the roadway. Only on a divided highway where there is a 5-foot or greater unpaved area between the lanes, a raised median, or a physical barrier, may vehicles pass that are traveling in the opposite direction of the school bus.
If convicted of passing a stopped school bus, you will pay a fine of $165.00 to $265.00 depending on whether you pass on the side of the bus where children enter, or exit, you will receive four points on your license, and be required to complete a driver improvement course. Also, on January 1, 2017, the Cameron Mayhew Act took effect in Florida, which increased the minimum penalty for drivers who illegally pass a stopped school bus resulting in the injury or death of another person. Penalties for this offense include a $1,500.00 fine, six points on your driver's license, 120 community service hours in a trauma center or hospital, participation in a victim's impact panel session or if one does not exist attendance at an approved driver improvement course, and suspension of your license for a minimum of 1 year.
Now that summer is coming to an end, let's be even more vigilant in our observations of the circumstances around us as we drive, slow down in school zones and school crossings and stop for school buses that are loading or unloading children. Let's be safe out there!