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To start with, a new school year brings the addition of school buses to the roads. Thus, buses will start taking students to and from school. And, drivers will need to remember there are penalties for passing a stopped school bus.

But, some drivers forget or get distracted ignoring the safety features. Like, the flashing yellow and red lights and the stop sign on the side of the bus. Additionally, they made the rules around stopping for a school bus simple.

  • Two-lane roads – all vehicles traveling either direction have to stop.
  • Multi-lane roads with a paved center – again all vehicles have to stop.
  • Divided roads or highways with a 5ft unpaved median, raised median, or barrier – Any vehicle traveling behind the bus must stop. And, vehicles traveling in the opposite direction do not need to stop but should drive with caution.

Florida Penalties for Passing A Stopped School Bus

Next, like most states, Florida takes this traffic offense seriously. Because when you don’t stop for a school bus loading or unloading kids, you endanger their lives. Thus, Florida Statute 318.18 states the following:

Failure to Stop for School Bus

  • 4 points on your license
  • Up to a $165 fine
  • Mandatory hearing
  • A second offense within 5 years adds a suspended license up to 6 months.

Failure to Stop Passing the Side Kids Enter and Exit

  • 4 points on your license
  • Up to $265 fine
  • Mandatory hearing
  • A second offense within 5 years adds a suspended license up to 1 year.

A Violation Causing Serious Injury

  • 6 points on your license
  • Up to $1500 fine
  • Mandatory hearing
  • A suspended license not less than 1 year.

Additionally, these penalties will increase as of January 1, 2021. Because the Florida Senate and Gov. Ron DeSantis recently approved and passed House Bill 37 doubling the penalties.


Even though, riding the bus to school is one of the safest alternatives to parents dropping kids off at school. Unfortunately, drivers fail to follow the rules. Which can result in a citation or worse an accident. So, here are some safety tips to help keep your child safe as they prepare to ride the bus.

  • Make sure they give themselves enough time to get to the bus stop.
  • Stay alert. So, they can see and hear cars on the road.
  • Don’t stand on the edge of the road. Try to stay at least 5 steps from the edge or curb.
  • If they need to cross the road always wait for the bus driver to signify it is safe to cross. Even if the bus driver says it is safe, look both ways before crossing.
  • Never try to board the bus while it is moving. Always wait for the bus to stop and open the doors indicating it is safe to board.
  • The same goes for exiting the bus. They should not get out of their seat to exit until the has stopped.
  • While on the bus sit facing forward and don’t hang anything out the window.


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