Bus Etiquette 101: Refresher Course for Tampa Bay Residents
Now that school is back in session for the year, buses frequent our roadways from morning to late afternoon, and chances are, you’ll come into contact with at least one at some point during your morning or evening commute. We all remember being taught the “rules of the road” during drivers education and school buses were a hot topic in that course; however, it’s easy to forget the details as we get more experienced behind the wheel, and that blasé mentality that develops over time could cost you, and someone else, greatly. Just last week in the Tampa area, a motorcyclist failed to stop and rear-ended a school bus full of elementary students stopped at an intersection. While he paid the price for that accident, it could have been much worse if a child had been walking nearby, or if he had been driving something larger than a bike. That’s why we decided to put together a few refresher points for drivers to keep in mind as they interact with buses on the road this school year.
- NEVER pass a stopped school bus with the STOP sign extended. This is a hard and fast rule with no exceptions. If you are behind a school bus and it comes to a stop and extends the signs (and turns on the flashers) you stay put. Failing to do so could not only result in a hefty ticket for you but also could kill or injure a child attempting to board or get off the bus. Think you can sneak by without getting caught? Many buses have added cameras in recent years. Better to be safe than sorry!
- If you are approaching a bus head on, and there is no median in between the two directions on the roadway, you must stop when they do. Children are often crossing the street to get home, and they have the right of way in that situation.
- If you are approaching a bus from the opposite direction and there IS a median in between, you are allowed to keep going, but we urge you to do so with caution. Drive slowly, stay alert, and watch for children darting out. They might not understand the rules of the road yet, but you should, and if they get hit you will be at fault.
No one wants to be responsible for the pain of a child of any age, so we encourage you to take note of the points above and review them often. Have a teen driver at home? Urge them to do the same. For families suffering from the injury or death of someone they love due to the negligence of another driver, Sessums Law Group is here and ready to STAND FOR YOU throughout the duration of your case. We are Tampa Bay’s trusted legal team. Give us a call and let us get the results you deserve.