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Get Schooled: When do you have to stop for a school bus?

By: Brandy Rood, Esq.

School is starting for our county and surrounding counties this week. As you get excited picking out the first day of school clothes with your kids (although this may be a little less exciting now with uniforms) and posting the famous first-day-of-school picture to your social media page, the attorneys at Wilkerson & Rood are reminding you to help get our kids to school safely! 

We can all agree that we want to keep our kids safe. But, do you know the laws when it comes to school buses? Florida law requires that you STOP your vehicle when a school bus is displaying the stop signal. You must make a complete stop and not pass the school bus until the stop signal has been withdrawn.

The only time that you do not have to stop is if there is an unpaved space at least 5 feet wide in between your lane of travel and the school bus. This would be a large a grassy median, raised concrete median, or a barrier. Although the law does not require that you stop, it is always a good idea to slow down and watch for kids crossing the road in this area. This exception does not apply to those traveling behind the school bus in the same direction. You are still required to stop if you are traveling in the same direction as the school bus.

With the start of school, kids will be walking to school bus stops. Slow down when you see kids walking on the sides of the road. Slow down as you pass these school bus stops. Put your phones and other distractions down. Together, let’s get our kids to school SAFE.