TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A newly enacted law in Florida poses tougher penalties for motorists who illegally pass a school bus and strike a student.
On Monday, Gov. Rick Scott approved HB 1239, a bill that targets drivers who cause serious injury or death while committing a school bus stop-arm violation.
The legislation is called the Cameron Mayhew Act, named for a 16-year-old student in Fort Myers, Florida, who was struck and killed by a car while crossing the street to board his school bus in June 2016.
“I was proud to sign the Cameron Mayhew Act to ensure tragedies like this never happen again,” Scott said on Twitter on Wednesday.
The driver whose vehicle hit Mayhew received a $1,000 fine and had his license suspended for six months, which Mayhew’s parents considered a light sentence, according to The News-Press.
The newly passed legislation, which was introduced in March by Florida Sen. Kathleen Passidomo and Rep. Dane Eagle, imposes a $1,500 fine and a one-year license suspension for motorists who seriously injure or kill a person while illegally passing a school bus. The new penalties for those violators also include:
• Serving 120 community service hours in a trauma center or hospital that regularly receives victims of vehicle accidents.
• Participating in a victim’s impact panel session in a judicial circuit or attending a driver improvement course relating to the rights of vulnerable road users.
• Six points on the driver’s record, up from four for stop-arm violations that don’t result in serious injury or death.
The Cameron Mayhew Act takes effect on Saturday.