Florida law requires that you stop and wait for a school bus displaying red flashing lights — an indication the bus is boarding or deboarding children.
West Palm Beach school bus accident attorneys know the risks are never higher than at the beginning of the school year in South Florida.
The School District of Palm Beach County has guidelines regarding who can ride the bus, including a requirement that most students who live within two miles of their school find their own way to and from class each day. This increases the risk of pedestrian accidents in residential neighborhoods and near school facilities. Particularly in the early morning and afternoon hours. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports more than half of all school bus accidents occur between the hours of 7-8 a.m. or 3-4 p.m.
Palm Beach Schools offer the following tips to pedestrians near a school bus or bus stop:
-Stand away from the road.
-Parents should supervise children at bus stops if possible.
-Arrive at least five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive.
-Only board or deboard the bus at approved locations.
-Never pick up an object that falls beneath the bus.
-Wait for the driver’s signal before boarding or crossing the street.
-Keep arms, legs and hands inside the bus at all times.
-Walk on the sidewalk whenever possible.
-Give drivers time to see you before crossing the street.
-Keep looking for traffic while crossing the street.
More than 58,000 students ride one of Palm Beach County’s 1,700 district-owned vehicles each day. Buses are dispatched from one of six commercial transportation facilities serving 167 schools and travel more than 11 million miles annually. And the big yellow buses can cause headaches for motorists, particularly if you are impatient.
Florida’s School Bus Stop Law requires all motorists to stop for a school bus loading or unloading children. Failure to do so can result in a fine of up to $265 and a 6-month suspension of your driver’s license. You may also be required to attend a driver improvement course.
When it comes to keeping our children safe traveling to and from school this year, slow down and allow yourself plenty of time to reach your destination. And, when you encounter a school bus, remember: “Stop on Red, Kids Ahead.”