With Osceola County students returning to school in the morning for the first time in over two weeks, drivers are reminded to be careful on their morning commute, as school buses and children walking and cycling to school will be back on the roads.

Be prepared to show some patience and add a few minutes to your commute if school buses share your route to work or early-morning and mid-afternoon activities.

Here’s a reminder on the rules for when there’s a loading or unloading school bus on a street or highway:

  • Unless there is a raised median or the road is a divided highway, traffic in both directions must stop for a stopped school that has its red lights flashing, preferably at least 20 feet away.
  • Remained stopped until the lights are turned off, until the STOP signal is retracted, or the bus starts moving.
  • If you have to learn the rules the hard way by getting caught passing a stopped school bus, you receive a ticket with a fine of at least $165 ($265 if you passed on the side where children enter and exit), four points on your driver’s license and will be required to complete a basic Driver Improvement Course.

During the 2020 Florida Legislative session, West Palm Beach Sen. Ed Hooper will introduce a bill filed in September that would double fines for drivers who illegally pass stopped school buses.

Let’s make 2020 a safe and positive year for Osceola County’s students, pedestrians, cyclists and drivers! Happy New Year!