Twitter tip leads to crackdown on drivers passing stopped school buses
Orange County deputies, troopers issue $269 tickets
ORLANDO, Fla. – Dozens of drivers were pulled over along Goldenrod Road early Monday as law enforcement cracked down on drivers passing stopped school buses.
The operation was a joint effort between the Orange County Sheriff's Office and the Florida Highway Patrol.
Deputies said they started to focus on the stretch of road between State Road 408 and East Colonial Drive after a tip came in from Twitter about cars not stopping while students were being picked up.
"(Drivers) are not actually paying attention to what's going on, which is scary, because all it takes is one car to hit somebody else and the cars go over into the school bus and where the kids are at," Orange County sheriff's Cpl. Gerald McDaniels said.
Florida law states that drivers in both directions must stop when red lights flash on a school bus. The only exception that allows drivers in the opposite direction to pass is if there is 5 feet of grass or a raised median separating the lanes of traffic.
"Up here on Goldenrod, there's just a center turn lane. So there's nothing that if a car loses control, there's nothing to stop if from going over and hitting the kids," McDaniels said.
Drivers who were pulled over Monday offered up different excuses for why they didn't stop.
"I really did it because I didn't know what was going on. I was confused because no one was stopping," Cynthia Santiago said.
Drivers face a $269 ticket if they are caught passing a stopped school bus that is dropping off or picking up students.
"It's the right thing, I guess. Big ticket, but what are you going to do? I guess everyone learned a lesson now," Santiago said.
Monday's operation was the third time deputies have held a bus stop crackdown on Goldenrod Road in the last month.
Deputies said they would continue to target the area until they see a decrease in violations.
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