A recent Opinion/Editorial piece in the Bradenton Herald served to remind Florida drivers that they need to take more care when getting behind the wheel. The article cited several examples of recent news reports covering drivers who seem to be totally ignorant of the law. Of course, everyone should know that it is against the law that it to run red lights or stop signs, but too many drivers completely ignore, or do not bother to learn, some of the other laws that govern driving in our state.
For example, if a school bus is stopped with red light flashing, all cars in both directions must come to a complete stop so that the children exiting or boarding the bus can do so safely. It does not matter how many lanes the road has, as one young woman who received a $271 ticket believed. It also does not matter if you are on the other side of the road, unless there is a raised median or some other barrier separating the lanes. The Manatee County, Florida Sheriff’s Office recently conducted an enforcement operation near local schools, watching for motorists who ignored this law. Deputies handed out 59 citations for failing to stop. Almost all of the ticketed drivers claimed they did not know they had to stop if they were travelling in the opposite direction of the bus.
Too many children are injured or killed in traffic accidents near schools. Drivers need to be aware of and follow the applicable Florida laws and drive using extra caution and patience when driving near a school or school bus. Drivers who want to be safe, avoid fines and possibly save someone’s life should read the Official Florida Driver’s Handbook and take it to heart. To find out more about frequently overlooked Florida traffic rules, visit Drivers must learn, obey Florida traffic laws.