Whether due to impatience, inattentiveness, or ignorance of the law, every day thousands of Florida drivers pass stopped school buses on the road. This problem is a public safety epidemic that endangers the lives of children. In fact, in a recent one- day survey taken by school bus drivers across the state, a total of 21,338 vehicles were recorded to have passed stopped school buses. Since passing a stopped school bus can have potentially tragic consequences, Florida does not take this public safety issue lightly. Accordingly, Florida has clear laws about drivers passing stopped school buses and law enforcement officers vigilantly look out for drivers in violation of the laws.
According to Florida Statute §316.172(1)(a), when a driver approaches any school bus which is displaying its stop signal, the driver must bring his or her vehicle to a full stop while the bus is stopped, and the driver shall not pass the bus until the bus withdraws its stop signal. If at a hearing the driver is found to have committed this offense, the court shall impose a fine of at least $100 plus an additional civil penalty of $65. Additionally, four points will be added to the driver’s license. If a driver is found to have committed this offense two or more times within a five year period, in addition to a fine of at least $100 plus an additional civil penalty of $65, the driver’s license will be suspended for between 90 days and six months.
According to Florida Statute §316.172(1)(b), there are even steeper penalties if you pass a stopped school bus displaying its stop signal on the side of the bus that children enter and exit the bus. If you are charged with this violation, you must attend a mandatory hearing. If you are found to have committed the offense, you’ll have to pay a minimum fine of $200 plus an additional civil penalty of $65. Additionally, four points will be added to your driver’s license. If you are found to have committed this offense two or more times within a five year period, in addition to a fine of at least $200 plus an additional civil penalty of $65, your driver’s license will be suspended for between 180 days and one year.
If you have been charged with passing a stopped school bus or any other civil or criminal traffic offense in South Florida, it is typically in your best interests to hire a Miami traffic attorney or Fort Lauderdale traffic attorney. An experienced local traffic ticket attorney, such as the ones at the South Florida law firm of Galanter Law, will give you the best chance at getting your charges reduced or beating the charges all together.
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