When Drivers Throw Caution To The Wind Near School Bus Stops
What is more precious than our children? When they are put in harm’s way while simply waiting for their school bus, or while actually riding the bus, simply because some random driver was in too much of a hurry to use common sense and follow Florida law, it’s more than simply infuriating. It’s downright dangerous.
Nearly 100 people are killed in accidents related to school transportation across the country every year. About one-third of children who die are hit by vehicles who fail to stop at a bus stop. Florida is no stranger to horrendous incidents related to students at school bus stops:
- Emergency rooms were flooded with seven individuals after a vehicle struck students at one Tampa school bus stop. Five kids and a couple of adults suffered serious injuries.
- A Tallahassee kindergartener was hit by a car as she crossed the street after stepping off of the bus. The driver of the vehicle wasn’t paying attention and didn’t notice that the bus had stopped and had its lights flashing as the stop arm extended outward.
As per Florida statute, vehicles are required to stop when a bus has its lights flashing and has extended the stop arm. This applies to vehicles approaching the bus in either direction. Drivers may not pass the bus until those lights are off and the stop arm is down. This is true even on divided highways with a paved median. Only when there is a raised median or unpaved median at least five feet wide may traffic in the opposing direction pass a stopped school bus. Even then, however, it would be wise to keep an eye out and be extra cautious. One never knows what kids might do, after all.
Drivers who neglect to stop for a school bus could be fined $200 if the event occurs without incident. A second offense could mean you lose your driver’s license for a year. If the offense results in injury to a child or other pedestrian, drivers could have more than a guilty conscience to worry about. The potential for a personal injury lawsuit, in addition to additional charges, becomes imminent.
Personal Injury Cases
If you or a loved one is injured or killed because a reckless or negligent driver failed to stop for a school bus, the results could be emotionally devastating. On top of that, medical bills might be piling up. A personal injury lawsuit can’t take away the physical or mental trauma of this type of accident, but it can recover money to address the expenses related to the devastation. At the Salazar & Kelly Law Group, our experienced Kissimmee personal injury attorneys are prepared to fight for the best possible outcomes for you after an accident. Schedule a confidential consultation in our office today.