Table of Contents
It’s The Law
Every one of the 50 states has a law making it illegal to pass a school bus with its red lights flashing and stop–arm extended that is stopped to load or unload students. However, some motorists simply choose to ignore the law.
• They might be coming toward the bus, decide that no students are crossing the
road, and just keep going.
• They might be behind the bus, pull into the left lane, and go around the bus.
• They might be behind the bus, pull onto the shoulder, and pass the bus on the right.
Proving the Law Was Being Violated
While the number of actual crashes caused by this violation is low, the potential for injury or death is high. For years, school bus drivers have been aware of, and have complained about, motorists illegally passing their school buses. In the mid-1990's several states conducted surveys to determine the actual extent of illegal passing. What they found was worse than they had imagined.
• The School Transportation Management Section of the Florida Department of Education conducted a study in 1995 through the University of South Florida. On one day in May of that year, 10,590 vehicles illegally passed stopped school buses in 58 of Florida’s 67 school districts. Since approximately 11,150 school buses participated in the survey, this meant an average of almost one illegal passing per school bus that day.