PASCO COUNTY — No matter how much law enforcement tries to get the word out, many still don’t know traffic laws when it comes to school buses.
“It is very frustrating and the safety and security of our children is very important to us,” said State Rep. Ardian Zika (R-37).
It’s so important to Zika that he wants to double the fines for those who break the law.
Zika says the legislation comes after viral videos like one shot by a Wesley Chapel mom showed cars blowing past a school bus.
“We will just ensure that we will change behavior. As you see a school bus on the road you got to follow the rules,” said Zika.
Penalties now are $100. That would double to $200 for those caught not stopping with school buses.
Passing a stopped school bus on the side children get on and off from would go up from $200 to $400.
Florida Highway Patrol says since 2012, there have been more than 21,000 crashes in Florida involving buses.
The basics to remember.
On a two lane road, vehicles in both directions have to stop with the bus.
It’s the same for roads with multiple lanes that are paved across.
On a highway divided by a barrier or raised median, vehicles going in the opposite direction don’t have to stop.
But if you are behind that bus you must hit the breaks.
The proposal also lengthens how long your license can be suspended.
The penalties associated with school bus safety haven’t been increased since 1997.
Zika says the Pasco Sheriff’s Office brought the problem to his attention and he hopes House Bill 37 passes in the next legislative session.
“As the father of 5 children this is very very important to me,” said Zika.