As of January 1, 2021, the penalties for failing to stop for a school bus and passing a stopped school bus on the side where children enter and exit doubled. It is imperative that all motorists properly stop for school buses so all of Florida’s children can arrive at school or home safely.
The Wireless Communications While Driving Law, effective October 1, 2019 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.
Be alert and watch for children especially near schools, bus stops, school buses and in school parking lots. Pay extra attention to the lower speed limits in school zones. Only drive or park in authorized areas to drop off or pick up children at school.
Be alert and watch for children especially near schools, bus stops, school buses and in school parking lots.
Put away the phone! School zones are hands-free areas. It’s illegal to have your hands on a cell phone while traveling through a designated school zone.
Children on bicycles can be unpredictable and can make sudden changes in direction. Be especially careful when children are present in school zones and residential areas.
Pay extra attention to lower speed limits in school zones. Be mindful of the designated school zones in your area and reduce your speed to 15 miles per hour or less.
Only drive or park in authorized areas to drop off or pick up children at school. This helps make the roadway travel safer for children to locate and access to their rides.
Watch for and obey signals from school crossing guards. This may include stopping in areas that do not have a stop sign, or yielding the right-of-way to crossing children.
Motorists should always be alert and drive with caution around school buses and in school zones where children may be present like schools, bus stops, school buses and school parking lots. Parents should also go over safety tips with their children to make sure they are safe on and around school buses and school zones.
All drivers moving in either direction on a two-way street must stop for a school bus displaying a stop signal, and must remain stopped until the road is clear of children AND the school bus stop arm is withdrawn.
On a highway divided by a paved median, all drivers moving in either direction must stop for a school bus displaying a stop signal, and must remain stopped until the road is clear of children AND the school bus stop arm is withdrawn.
The only time traffic approaching an oncoming school bus does not need to stop, is if there is a raised barrier such as a concrete divider or at least five feet of unpaved space separating the lanes of traffic. However, these motorists should slow down and watch for students loading or unloading from the bus.
On July 1, 2017, the Cameron Mayhew Act took effect in Florida, which increases the minimum penalty for drivers who illegally pass a stopped school bus, resulting in the injury or death of another person. Cameron Mayhew was killed by a motorist that failed to stop as he was walking to his stopped school bus in 2016.
Penalties for passing a stopped school bus that causes or results in the serious bodily injury or the death of another person include:
Help us spread the word that school zones are hands-free zones! Starting October 1, 2019 Florida motorists can be stopped for holding a wireless device in a designated school crossing, school zone or active work zone. Use the button below to request a free yard sign for your high school. Quantities are limited. Please limit your request to 5 yard signs per applicant.
Help us keep teen drivers safe! We’ve assembled a series of 4 social media graphics and some supporting content to help increase safety and awareness surrounding Back-to-School safety. Use the button below or click to download the Back-to-School Social Media Kit, which includes images for Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Together, we have the power to effect change and reach zero roadway fatalities and serious injury crashes.