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Brevard Superintendent pulled over for passing school bus during bus safety campaign

Superintendent was in district-issued SUV during traffic stop

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(Getty Images)

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – During a campaign to educate drivers about school bus safety laws, Superintendent of Brevard Public Schools Desmond Blackburn was pulled over recently for failing to stop for a school bus, News 6 partner Florida Today reported.

The Melbourne Police Department said Blackburn was pulled over March 27 and issued a warning at the intersection of Wickham Road and Longwood Boulevard. Blackburn was driving his district-issued SUV at the time. 

Contacted by FLORIDA TODAY, Blackburn would not provide details of the incident, but lauded the safety program.

"I want to thank Melbourne PD for getting out and supporting bus safety week," he said, adding that he was appreciate the agency was reminding drivers about school bus laws, "and I was one of the drivers that received a reminder."

The maximum penalty for passing a school bus that has a stop sign extended is a $274 fine and four points on your license, according to Melbourne Police. If the driver passes the bus on the side where children enter and exit the bus, the driver is subject to a mandatory court hearing. 

Blackburn received only a warning. Documents from Melbourne Police did not specify what happened during the traffic infraction or why Blackburn was issued a warning not a ticket. FLORIDA TODAY has reached out to Melbourne Police officials and is awaiting response. 

He was pulled over during the Melbourne Police Department's "Operation BUSted," a new campaign whose purpose is to reduce the number of drivers illegally passing school buses in order to keep students safe. 

Since February, when the campaign launched, police officers have been visiting school drop-off loops and reaching out to student-drivers to make them aware of the laws.

The law states that cars driving in both directions on a two-lane roadway, including those with a center turning lane or those without a median, must stop for a stopped school bus. Where there is a median separating lanes of traffic, only the cars traveling the same direction as the bus must stop.