TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Motorists who illegally pass a school bus and strike a student in Florida could soon face stiffer penalties.
Two companion bills filed in the state Legislature in early March target 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.
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 new legislation, introduced by Florida Sen. Kathleen Passidomo and Rep. Dane Eagle, would impose 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 penalties for those violators would 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 attend a driver improvement course relating to the rights of vulnerable road users.
If the legislation passes, the Cameron Mayhew Act would take effect on July 1.