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Press Release

Friday, June 3, 2011

DOE Press Office
(850) 245-0413

Department of Education Urges Florida Motorists to Follow School Bus Safety Laws as School Year Comes to a Close

~ Statewide survey results show high number of motorists illegally passing school buses ~

TALLAHASSEE – With the end of the school year fast-approaching and children hurrying to start their summer vacations, the Florida Department of Education (DOE) is urging motorists to be extra vigilant in obeying school bus safety laws. A recent survey conducted by DOE shows that more than 8,900 illegal school bus pass-bys took place on a single day in Florida earlier this year. The survey was provided to school district transportation directors and conducted by bus operators in Florida, and was done in conjunction with a nationwide effort to determine the incidence of illegal driver activity around school buses.

“Although our school buses remain one of the safest modes of transportation for students, Florida’s motorists must to do their part by obeying traffic laws at all times,” said Florida Education Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith. “These survey results serve as a critical reminder that more caution must be exercised in and around our school buses if we are to ensure the continued safety of our students.”

In March 2011, the Department distributed a four-question survey to all Florida school districts and charter schools. Transportation representatives were asked to have school bus operators report any incidents of illegal pass-bys observed throughout the day within the normal school bus route. The survey showed that these incidents increased slightly in the afternoon, and the majority of the incidents occurred on the left-side of the school bus.

To see the statewide results of the survey, visit http://www.fldoe.org/transportation/. For more information about School Bus Safety, visit www.floridaschoolbussafety.gov.