If you have a child who commutes to and from school on a school bus and are interested in knowing how often drivers are illegally passing these vehicles even when state law prohibits it, then read on as the Florida Department of Education recently published a copy of their 2017-2018 school year results.
During the 2017-2018 school year, 1,011 bus drivers in Broward County participated in the FL DOE’s survey that counted how many drivers illegally passed a school bus on a single day. Here are the results:
- A total of 1,137 drivers illegally passed school buses on one day during the 2017-2018 school year.
- 581 motorists illegally passed a school bus during the AM hours.
- 32 drives illegally passed school buses during the midday hours.
- 524 motorists made an illegal pass around a school bus during the PM hours.
- Of the total number of vehicles that made an illegal pass, 954 passed on the left while 63 passed on the right of the bus.
Although some counties did not partake in the survey, a majority of them did and you might be surprised to know that among all the counties that participated, Broward County had the second highest number of illegal passes. Miami Dade County came in first with a total of 1,146 illegal passes recorded.
When is it illegal to pass a school bus?
For those drivers out there who may not have children riding the bus or aren’t familiar with the state of FL’s laws pertaining to when you are and are not permitted to pass a school bus, below we are outlining when it is illegal to pass a school bus so that you avoid making the same mistake as those drivers did who were involved in the survey.
- Motorists must stop when approaching a school bus that is stopped with its red lights flashing and stop arms extended.
- Any driver traveling in either direction on a two-lane street must stop for a school bus that is displaying a stop signal and must remain stopped until the roadway is clear of kids and the school bus has withdrawn its stop arm.
- When a highway is divided by a paved median, all drivers moving in either direction are required by law to stop for a school bus that extends its stop sign. Drivers must remain stopped until children have made it across the roadway and the school bus withdrawn its stop arm.
- The only time a driver is not required to stop for a school bus is when they are approaching from the opposite side of the road that is either divided by a raised barrier or there is at least five feet of unpaved space that separates the lanes of traffic.
[Source: Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles].
When drivers follow the laws and operate their vehicles with caution around school buses, it helps to keep the children riding on them safe. However, based on the data that was recently collected, it is clear many drivers aren’t abiding by state laws which is one of the reasons why accidents involving buses transpire. If your child was injured in an accident in Fort Lauderdale, FL while riding their bus or when getting on your off of the bus because a driver was inattentive or broke one or more traffic laws, then that motorist should be held accountable for their behavior.
In order to hold a driver accountbale for the damage they caused, a parent of a minor child can file a claim with the driver’s insurance carrier or even file a lawsuit against the motorist themselves in an effort to recover compensation for the injuries and damage they have caused. To find out more about filing a claim or lawsuit against a motorist who caused an accident involving a school bus, contact a Fort Lauderdale, FL school bus accident lawyer today.