Florida joins other states across the country to observe National School Bus Safety Week.
The special week commemorates the safe service that school buses provide to families, as
they provide one of the safest modes of transportation for children.
Each year, Florida drivers illegally pass school buses nearly two million times. Each illegal pass-by
could result in a tragic injury or fatality of a student. The inconvenience of an extra few seconds
spent waiting for a stopped school bus is insignificant compared to the loss of a child's life, which
is why Florida’s departments of Education, Transportation, and Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles,
have teamed up to develop the Stop on Red, Kids Ahead campaign to remind drivers of the laws and s
afe practices to take when approaching a school bus.
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alert throughout the school year
and remember, the inconvenience of an
extra few seconds spent waiting for a
stopped school bus is insignificant
compared to the loss of a child’s life.
PROCEDURES FOR STUDENTS AND PARENTS TO FOLLOW
WHILE WAITING, LOADING AND RIDING THE SCHOOL BUS
A. Procedures While Waiting for the Bus
1. Be at the assigned pickup point up to five minutes before the regular/scheduled
pick up time. Drivers will not wait or honk.
2. Stand on the sidewalk or 10 feet away from the roadway while waiting for the bus.
Students must respect private property at the pickup point location. Criminal charges
could apply if private property is damaged or destroyed.
3. As the bus approaches, form a line and be prepared to load immediately. But, do not
approach the bus until it comes to a complete stop and the door is opened. Anywhere
within 10 ft. of the bus is considered “the Danger Zone” and is very dangerous.
4. If a student misses the bus, they should go home immediately and notify their B. Procedures for Boarding the Bus
parent/guardian. Parents/guardians should instruct their children on what procedures
to follow if the bus is missed. The school bus will not return if the student misses the bus.
1. Do not push or shove; load one at a time.
2. Use the handrail and step up onto the bus one step at a time.
3. Go directly to your assigned seat. The bus will not move until all students are seated.
All students are required to have an assigned seat. Assigned seating will be determined
by the driver, campus administrator, and transportation, not the student.
4. Loading at each school is generally scheduled or announced. The bus stops one time only
to load students at the schools. The driver will give the students enough time to load and
then leave. Once the bus starts to leave a campus, it will not stop to pick up a late student.
Running towards or after a moving bus is very dangerous. The student that misses the bus
should return to the office immediately to contact their parent/guardian.
C. Conduct on the Bus
1. Each rider is assigned a seat. Each rider will be responsible for his or her space.
Report any existing vandalism or damage to the driver immediately. Vandalism repair
cost will be paid by the person determined to be responsible. Parents/guardians will be
notified and the student’s riding privilege may be suspended until arrangement for restitution
2. Actions that distract the driver may endanger all of the riders. Such actions as loud noises,
moving around, throwing objects, fighting or shining a light into the eyes of the driver are
unlawful and will not be allowed. The student may be removed if necessary. The Police Department
may issue citations for Disruption of Transportation or Disorderly Conduct for these acts,
resulting in fines or possible incarceration for violators.
3. The emergency door and exit controls should be used by students only during supervised
drills or actual emergencies.
4. All body parts (head, arms, long hair, etc.) must be kept inside of the bus.
5. Remain seated in the assigned seat. Do not change seat location without the driver’s approval.
6. Eating or drinking while on the bus is not permitted. Openly carrying drink containers on
the bus is not permitted.
7. All carry-on items will be held in the student’s lap. Nothing will be allowed in the aisle or
blocking the exits. Items that block the view of the driver are not permitted.
8. Absolutely no fighting or spitting on the bus will be tolerated. Each will be reported to
the student’s principal.
Florida’s School Bus Stop Law
The following is a summary of Florida’s school bus stop law requirements:
- Each day in Florida there are over 8,900 illegal “pass-by’s” of Florida school
buses, each representing the possibility of tragic injuries or fatalities to students.
- Florida Motor Vehicles Laws require that motorists stop upon approaching any
school bus which displays its flashing red lights and has its stop signs extended.
- Interested parties should refer to sections 316.172, 318.18, 318.19, and 322.0261,
Florida Statutes (FS), for the specific language in the law. Florida Statutes can
be found at http://www.leg.state.fl.us/
- Section 316.172, FS provides that:
- Drivers who pass a school bus illegally on the left side commit a moving violation,
punishable under Chapter 318, FS.
- Drivers who pass a school bus illegally on the right side where students enter or
exit the bus commit a moving violation, punishable under Chapter 318, FS and are
subject to a mandatory hearing.
- Amount of penalties (Section 318.18, FS):
- Left hand pass:
1st offense: $165
2nd or subsequent offense (within 5 years): $165 plus license suspension for 90
days to 6 months
- Right hand pass:
1st offense: $265
2nd or subsequent offense (within 5 years): $265, license suspension for 180 days
to one year, plus a mandatory hearing
Drivers who improperly pass a stopped school bus commit a moving
violation subject to citation and will be required to complete a basic
Driver Improvement Course upon conviction.
- Driver improvement course (Section 322.0261, FS):
- The offender must, in addition to other applicable penalties, attend a DHSMV-approved driver
improvement course. If the operator fails to complete the course within 90 days after receiving notice,
his or her driver license will be canceled until the course is successfully completed.
- For any violation of Section 316.72, FS, 4 points assessed against driver license (Section 322.27, FS):
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