Tampa Police remind of school bus passing laws

TAMPA, FL (WFLA) – School is getting back in session and many of us will be sharing the roadways with school buses. Leslee Lacey takes a look at the often misinterpreted passing laws.

Unfortunately, many drivers are confused about the rule. The law states a driver must stop whenever a school bus extends it’s stop sign or displays it’s flashing lights. In general. It does not matter which direction you are traveling.

The school bus can obstruct view for a driver and a student, so all traffic must stop until the children have exited the school bus, crossed the road if needed, and the bus has retracted it’s stop sign arm. The only exception is if a driver is headed the “opposite” direction of the school bus, AND there is a 5-foot median, a raised median, or a barrier that separates the driver from the bus, then drivers do not have to stop.

And if you think you can talk your way out of a ticket, no such luck. Tampa Police Officer Roy Paz says at this time of the year a ticket is an education for drivers to drive safe. TPD also says they will increase presence with most of the motorcycle police officers assigned near school buses or following them. Parents are reminded to dress their kids in bright colors since it will be dark outside when they are walking to school or waiting at the bus stop.

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