Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed 21 bills into law on Saturday, including one that increases the fine for illegally passing a stopped school bus.
H.B. 37 increases the fine to $200 from $100 for failure to stop for a school bus with its stop-arm extended and flashing red lights activated. For a subsequent offense within a five-year period, the motorist will receive a suspended license for no less than 190 days and no more than a year.
The School Bus Safety bill also increases the fine for passing a school bus on the right-hand side, where children are loading and unloading, to $400 from the previous fine of $200. Motorists convicted of a second offense within a five-year period will lose their driver’s license for no less than one year and no more than two.
The act will take effect on Jan. 1, 2021.
Meanwhile, 21 states currently allow the use of districts to install stop-arm cameras to catch motorists who illegally pass the school bus. Florida is not one of those states.
A bill was introduced in February 2019 to allow school districts to install a stop-arm camera on buses and allow law enforcement to use the recordings and images to issue citations. However, the bill died in the Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee in June of that year.
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