Supporters and Friends of Florida Stop Arm Safety Coalition:
We are writing you today to thank you for your support over the past several months as the Coalition has travelled throughout the state educating people on the dangers of stop arm violations as well as speaking on the subject to numerous different groups all while trying to find a solution to help curb this increasing problem. FSASC is looking forward to working with each and every one of you over the coming months while continuing our fight to protect Florida’s children at one of their most vulnerable times… while getting on and off the school bus. The Florida Stop Arm Safety Coalition cannot do this alone, it is with supports like you that we make an impact and try to stop Florida’s stop arm violation epidemic.
As most of you know the Coalition does not advocate for any specific technology but after monitoring the 2013 legislative session very carefully over the past few it appears that the only legislation being considered at this time that will help keep our children safe is House Bill 669 and the Senate Bill 950. Both of these bills allow for the Florida School Bus Safety Camera Program which will provide for use of cameras installed on school buses to provide evidence of violation when driver fails to stop behind bus while bus stop signal is displayed and provides for citation.
Below please find to research these particular bills. We urge you to reach out to your elected officials over the coming days and weeks and strongly express your support for this effort. There is much more work to be done and many more steps to take in keeping our children safe while entering and exiting school buses but this legislation can help reduce the number of stop arm violations that occur as well as holding irresponsible drivers accountable for their actions that can potentially injure or kill the children of Florida, this is the first step in the right direction. IT may be the only action out of this year’s legislative session.
Please stand with the Florida Stop Arm Safety Coalition and make your voices heard!
Why It’s Important
The inconvenience of an extra few seconds spent waiting for a stopped school bus is insignificant compared to the loss of a child’s life, According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), children are at greatest risk when they are getting on or off the school bus. Most of the children killed in bus-related crashes are pedestrians, five to seven years old. Nearly one-third of the deaths occur in the 10-foot area surrounding the school bus because of passing motorists who ignore the flashing red warning lights and disregard a bus’s deployed stop-arm. A National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services Survey found than on average, Florida drivers illegally pass extended school bus stop arms more than 21,000 times a day.
Each illegal pass-by could result in a tragic injury or fatality of a student.
How We’ll Do It
The goal of the Florida Stop Arm Safety Coalition is to promote school bus stop arm safety and advocate for new legislation giving school districts additional enforcement resources including school bus stop arm cameras.