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The Florida Senate

CS/CS/SB 766 — Enforcement of School Bus Passing Infractions

by Fiscal Policy Committee; Transportation Committee; and Senators Burgess and Berman

This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.

Prepared by: Transportation Committee (TR)

The bill authorizes a school district to install and maintain school bus infraction detection systems. The school district may contract with a private vendor or manufacturer to provide a school bus infraction detection system on each school bus in its fleet. The system uses electronic traffic enforcement technology to record traffic violations when drivers fail to stop for a school bus displaying a stop signal.

In order to use a school bus infraction detection system, the bill requires:

  • The school district to enter into an interlocal agreement with a law enforcement agency authorized to enforce school bus stop signal violations within the school district.
  • The systems meet specifications established by the State Board of Education.
  • School districts make a public announcement and conduct a 30-day public awareness campaign before commencing initial enforcement using such systems.
  • School buses with such operational systems have high-visibility reflective signage on the rear of the school bus indicating system use.

The bill requires the school district, or a private vendor or manufacturer contracting with a school district, to submit specific information regarding alleged violations to the law enforcement agency authorized to enforce school bus stop signal violations in the school district. The information must be submitted within 30 days after the alleged violation is captured and include a copy of the recorded image showing the motor vehicle; the license plate number and state of issuance; and the date, time, and place of the alleged violation.

If the law enforcement agency determines a violation occurred, the agency must send a notice of violation, within 30 days, by first-class mail to the vehicle’s registered owner. The notice must include information detailing how to pay the civil penalty, review the evidence, request a hearing to contest the violation, or submit an affidavit providing a defense to the violation. If the owner does not contest, pay the civil penalty, or submit an affidavit within 30 days after receiving the notice of violation, he or she will be issued a uniform traffic citation.

Under the bill, a violation enforced by a school bus infraction detection system is subject to a $225 civil penalty. The $200 civil penalty collected must be provided to the school district in which the violation occurred, and must be used to install or maintain school bus infraction detection systems, for the administration and costs associated with enforcement of the violations, or for any other technology that increases the safety of the transportation of students. The additional $25 collected is distributed to the Department of Health’s Emergency Medical Services Trust Fund for payment to trauma centers.

The bill prohibits individuals from receiving any commission based on revenue collected, or a vendor or manufacturer receiving any fee based on the number of violations detected through use of the system.

Each school district in consultation with the law enforcement agency with which it has interlocal agreements using the system must report quarterly information to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) beginning October 1, 2023. DHSMV must submit an annual summary report to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives beginning December 31, 2024, providing specified information.

If approved by the Governor, or allowed to become law without the Governor’s signature, these provisions take effect July 1, 2023.

Vote: Senate 35-5; House 108-6