Fines and suspensions doubled for passing stopped school buses in 2021

Last year’s school bus safety bill, which increases penalties against motorists who illegally pass school buses, is one of several laws taking effect with the new year.

That legislation (HB 37) doubles penalties for motorists who drive improperly when buses are stopped to load and unload children. Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the bill into law in June.

In part, the minimum penalty for motorists who fail to stop for school buses increases from $100 to $200 and the minimum penalty for motorists who pass stopped school buses on the side where children enter and exit doubled from $200 to $400. The law also doubles the minimum and maximum license suspension for repeating those offenses. Failing to stop will draw a 180-day to one-year suspension while passing on the exit door side will lead to a 360-day to two-year suspension.

A somewhat similar bill failed to gain traction during the 2019 Legislative Session.

“This is an important piece of legislation for our community,” House sponsor Ardian Zika told Florida Politics. “This legislation sends a loud and clear message that the Florida House of Representatives takes the safety of our children seriously.”

The Land O’ Lakes Republican has

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