Everyone knows that if you are going in the same direction of the school bus, you have to stop, but what if you are going in the opposite direction? When do you have to stop for a school bus on the opposite side of the road?
Florida law states that if you are going the opposite way as a 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 one-way roadways are separated by an unpaved space at least five feet in width, or
- you are on a divided highway and the one-way roadways are separated by a physical barrier.
A barrier is a continuous permanent or semi-permanent obstruction that makes it very difficult for a vehicle or pedestrian to go from one roadway to another. Examples of a barrier are a chain-link fence or a concrete abutment. Traffic cones or trees in a medium are not barriers. ALSO, PAINTED LINES, PAVEMENT MARKINGS, AND ONE- OR TWO-WAY LEFT-HAND TURN LANES DO NOT CONSTITUTE A BARRIER. Thus, if the road is separated only by left turn lanes, you MUST stop for the school bus.
Tips for Drivers:
- Leave adequate space between your vehicle and the bus.
- Be on the lookout for kids around school bus loading and unloading areas.
- Pay attention; avoid distractions.
- Pay attention to speed limits, school crossing guards and unpredictable children, since these situations may require you to reduce your speed or stop.
- When children (walking, bicycling or skating) or school crossing guards are present in a crosswalk, drivers must yield or stop at the marked stop line and without stopping in the crosswalk. It is the driver’s responsibility to avoid colliding with pedestrians.
Tips for students:
- Always walk to the bus stop. Never run.
- Walk on the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk, walk on the left facing traffic.
- Wait for the bus to arrive, watch for red flashing lights and the Stop arm to extend.
- Look left, right and left again before crossing the street.
It is never good when someone gets injured in a car accident or pedestrian accident, but when a kid is injured, it makes it feel worse. Do your part to avoid a car accident or other accident involving school children. Being alert can save a life.
For answers to legal questions after a Florida car accident, school bus accident, pedestrian crash, bicycle accident or other personal injury matter, contact Personal Injury Attorney Matthew Noyes. Attorney Noyes' Tampa Bay personal injury law firm-Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes-is one of the most established law firms in Tampa Bay. They have been caring for clients since 1955. Contact them today!