Deputies to closely watch school buses for dangerous drivers in Collier County

Posted at 11:15 AM, Aug 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-29 11:15:58-04

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. -- A safety operation is planned for Wednesday in Collier County in which deputies will be closely watching school buses for dangerous drivers nearby.

According to the Collier County Sheriff's Office, Operation "Yellow" Bus will focus on five different bus routes throughout the county. Deputies from their Motorcycle Unit will follow those five buses while they make their rounds, picking up students.

Deputies will pull over anyone who drives past a parked bus which has its stop bar engaged and its red lights flashing as it picks up a student.

“Generally every year we get complaints either from the school board or from parents at school bus stops,” said Sgt. Terence Smith of the Safety & Traffic Enforcement Bureau.

He says the most common complaint the Sheriff’s Office receives regarding school buses is for drivers who are passing the vehicles while stopped.

Florida law requires motorists to stop upon approaching any school bus displaying its flashing red lights. The only exception is when a vehicle is traveling in the opposite direction of the school bus and traveling on a divided highway with an unpaved space of at least 5 feet or when traveling on a divided highway with a raised median or a physical barrier.

“We wanted to get out there before we get a complaint,” Sgt. Smith said.

Wednesday’s bus routes include the following schools:

* Poinciana Elementary and East Naples Middle
* Pelican Marsh Elementary and Pine Ridge Middle
* Veterans Memorial Elementary and North Naples Middle
* Vineyards Elementary and Oakridge Middle
* Shadow Lawn Elementary and Gulf View Middle