When Must You Stop for a School Bus?
That time is here! School buses will cover the road of Pinellas, Pasco and Hillsborough Counties as the kids return to school. Unfortunately, this also means too many children are injured in accidents when getting on the school or getting off the school bus. That is why it is important that all drivers are reminded about the Florida law regarding when you stop for a school bus.
Florida Statute 316.172 tells us what the law is on stopping for a school bus. It states that when approaching any school bus which displays a stop signal, a driver shall come to a full stop while the bus is stopped, and the vehicle shall not pass the school bus until the signal has been withdrawn. Also, any driver who passes a school bus on the side that children enter and exit when the school bus displays a stop signal commits a moving violation is subject to a mandatory hearing.
So, when must the driver stop when the school bus is on the opposite side of the road? The statute states that a driver on 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. However, if you are not certain about the length of the unpaved space, it is better to be safe than sorry.
The penalty for violating this law is $165 for failure to stop for a school bus. 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. If the driver passes a school bus on the side that children enter and exit, the penalty is $265.00. 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.
So, drive safely as the new school year begins. Watch out for school buses and follow Florida law on when to stop for school buses.
The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represents those injured in car accidents, motorcycle crashes, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There is no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.