New Year, New School Bus Rules in Florida
It’s always been wrong to illegally pass a school bus in Florida—but starting on the first day of 2021, the penalties got a lot more severe!
New School Bus Laws in Florida
Under this new 2021 change, penalties will be doubled for illegally passing a school bus. This means that for the first failure to stop for a school bus, drivers will be fined a minimum of $200, up from a minimum of $100 last year. For a second offense, if it’s committed within five years of the first offense, a driver’s license will be suspended for up to one year. If a driver illegally passes a school bus on the side where children enter and exit while the school bus displays a stop signal, the penalties are even more severe. Drivers who violate this law will see a fine of a minimum of $400, plus a two-year suspension of their license for a second offense within five years.
Do Your Part!
While these fines and penalties might seem like a lot, they’re an important part of keeping kids safe on their way to school. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, school buses are 70% safer than other modes of transportation for getting to school, and are the main means of transportation for many students around Florida and the United States. While bus drivers do their own part to obey traffic rules and keep students safe, other drivers should also be aware of what they can do to help students get safely to school.
Need a Refresher on Florida’s school bus rules?
If a school bus is stopped with its red lights on or the stop arm extended, other drivers on the road must stop. This not only refers to drivers directly behind the school bus, but also drivers traveling on the same road, even in the opposite direction. For example, if you’re driving on a two-lane road in the right lane, you still need to stop. On the other hand, if you are traveling on a divided highway with an unpaved space of at least five feet, a raised median, or another kind of physical barrier, you are not required to stop for a school bus when traveling in the opposite direction.
When you are stopped behind or near a school bus, come to a full stop. Do not get impatient and try to drive around the bus, no matter how tempting it is.
Remember, Florida law also requires school buses to stop at railroad tracks. If you are traveling behind a bus in an area with railroad tracks, keep this in mind.
In 2021, brush up on these rules to help keeps the roads safe—and to avoid hefty fines!
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