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Meldon Law

Know the Law: Rules for Driving with School Buses in Florida

Jeffrey Meldon
Founder of the Meldon Law Firm

You see a school bus traveling toward you on the opposite side of the road. Do you stop when it stops? Does the median mean you do not have to stop? Do you keep going?

Florida has strict and clear school bus safety rules. Under Florida Statute 316.172, when approaching a school bus that has its stop lights blinking and stop signs showing, you must stop as well. You may not pass a stopped school bus with its lights and signs indicating that children are getting on or off the bus. Violators of this law receive a moving violation for failing to stop or attempting to pass a stopped school bus.

When the bus is traveling the opposite direction, there are other considerations. The law states that in a divided highway situation where the area between the opposing lanes of traffic is more than five feet of empty space, which could be taken up by a median, either a raised or physical barrier between lanes of traffic, drivers in the opposing lane of traffic are not required to stop. However, if this median or space is not present, such as on a two lane road or neighborhood street, drivers in the opposing lane of traffic are required to stop when the school bus indicates that it is going to stop.

Parents with concerns about school bus safety can visit http://www.schoolbussafety.com/, where forums are available for comments and concerns about issues involving safety on the roads.