All public schools in Hillsborough County are officially back in session on August 10. That not only means more traffic on all roads, but also that school buses will be shuttling kids to and from school. As an accident lawyer, I have seen and heard stories involving accidents with school buses. All of these accidents could most likely be prevented if the driver knew school bus laws.
In Florida, the law says, “any person operating, or driving a vehicle on or over the roads or highways should bring the vehicle to a full stop upon approaching any school bus which displays a stop signal, while the bus is stopped, and the vehicle shall not pass the school bus until the signal has been withdrawn. A person who violates this section commits a moving violation, punishable as provided in chapter 318.”
The law also says that if the driver of the vehicle is approaching a bus but on a divided highway, the driver is not required to stop when it is traveling in the opposite direction of the stopped bus.
There are also rules for the drivers of the bus, “Every school bus shall stop as far to the right of the street as possible and shall display warning lights and stop signals as required by rules of the State Board of Education before unloading or loading passengers. When possible, a school bus shall not stop where the visibility is obscured for a distance of 200 feet either way from the bus.”
Another Cause of School Bus Accidents
If these rules are followed, in theory accidents with school buses should not occur. Most importantly, accidents involving children crossing the street after getting off the bus should decrease. In recent years however, it’s not a lack of regard for the rules that have caused accidents involving buses. The problem is distracted driving. For example, a crash in Indiana into a school bus carrying a basketball team was caused by distracted driving. A woman lost her drink lid which caused her to veer into the bus, which completely rolled over. Thankfully no one was seriously injured.
At Hancock Injury Attorneys, we are asking you to put away the distractions all the time. Especially in the mornings and afternoon when buses and cars carrying children are more likely to be on the road. In addition, please follow the laws surrounding school buses and you might just help prevent an accident.