In just a few days, summer vacation will come to an end and students will be returning to the classroom. This means our roadways will see an increase in pedestrian and automobile traffic, including those bright yellow school buses carrying our most precious cargo.
Every year, residents are stumped when it comes to the law of stopping for a school bus and the question always comes up, “Do I stay or do I go?” The Lee County Sheriff’s Office wants you to “Know before You Go” and suggests you follow these safety tips:
• Allow extra time for travel in the morning and afternoon. Picking up and dropping off students can cause traffic buildup.
• Be on the lookout for children sitting in the roadway or on the side of the road waiting for their bus, particularly in the very early morning hours.
“So, when do I have to stop” you ask?
1). If you are going the same way as a school bus that is flashing red lights and has the stop arm extended, you must stop behind the bus and cannot move until the bus retracts the stop arm and turns off the red flashing lights.
2). If you are going the opposite way of the school bus that is flashing red lights and has the stop arm extended you must stop in front of the bus and cannot move until the bus retracts the stop arm and turns off the flashing red lights…..UNLESS:
• You are on a divided highway and the roads are separated by an unpaved space of at least 5 feet or
• A raised median, or
• You are on a divided highway and the roadways are separated by a physical barrier.
Failure to comply with Florida Statute 316.172 – Traffic to Stop for School Bus – will result in a written citation requiring you to pay a Civil Penalty of $266.00.
If you have questions regarding this safety tip please contact the Lee County Sheriff's Office at 477-1000, or if you would like to report a fraud or scam, please contact the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Fraud Line at 239-477-1242. To arrange to have someone come out to your community to talk about this or another safety or security topic please contact the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, Community Relations Section at (239) 477-1400.