Nearly 50 drivers receive tickets for illegally passing school buses

Nearly 50 drivers were issued citations for illegally passing school buses on Goldenrod Road Monday morning.

Roughly a dozen Orange County sheriff’s deputies and Florida Highway Patrol Troopers conducted a bus stop detail on Goldenrod Road between Lake Underhill Road and Highway 50.

OCSO Corporal Gerald McDaniels said, “With the buses stopping, the traffic around them doesn’t stop which creates a dangerous situation for the kids, for the motoring public, for everyone involved.”

Corporal McDaniels said drivers must stop for a school bus whenever it is stopped and has its stop sign deployed or its lights on even if it’s on the opposite side of the road. “All it takes is one car to hit somebody else and the car goes over into the school bus where the kids are at.”

But McDaniels said there are some exceptions to the law. “If there’s a raised median there, you can go by or if there’s a grassy area that separates the road 5 feet or bigger they can go by.”

Driver Cynthia Santiago was pulled over during the detail and received a $269 citation. She said she normally does stop whenever she she’s a stopped school bus but got confused. “When I saw this commotion going on… I didn’t know and the car in front of me kept going, everybody kept going. I’m like ok, I guess something’s going on.”

Corporal McDaniels said officers handed out 47 citations on Monday. He said deputies during two previous enforcement stops in the same area they issued 40-60 citations.

A Florida lawmaker is proposing a bill that would let school districts install cameras on buses to catch drivers. They would get a ticket in the mail.

Some parents say that this needs to happen to protect kids. One parent said that "as people, we have to make more of an attempt to protect our kids and other people's kids. That's our next generation."

Unless there is a median in the road, you have to stop for a school bus when the stop sign is out.