Illegal Passing: Real–Life Successes

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A Closer Look

Florida Department of Education


In 1995, the Florida Department of Education (DOE) conducted the original survey described at the beginning of this guide. Chosen as one of NHTSA's four demonstration projects, Florida DOE established a toll–free line for citizens to report incidents of illegal passing. In Florida, no ticket can be issued unless the act is witnessed by a law enforcement official but DOE responded to these citizen reports by sending out a warning letter to the motorist to whom the vehicle was registered. The letter included a pamphlet about the statute and the results of Florida's survey – almost two million illegal “pass by's” every school year.

Florida DOE also produced a 30–second public service announcement videotape as well as artwork that was used for 25,000 pamphlets (in both English and Spanish) and 5,000 posters. Through the Florida Cable Association, the PSA was aired 5,297 times in a 45–day period by the nine major cable providers in the state. Community Traffic Safety Teams (CTSTs) distributed the pamphlets and posters at local events (e.g., county fairs, celebrations). Posters were also displayed in local tag and driver license offices throughout the state.

Florida's Community Traffic Safety Teams (CTSTs) are locally based groups of highway safety advocates committed to solving traffic safety problems related to the driver, the vehicle, and the roadway. CTSTs use a comprhensive, multi-jurisdictional, multi-disciplinary approach. Members include local city, county, and state law enforcement agencies as well as private industry representatives, local citizents, and other traffic safety advocates.d

At the conclusion of the demonstration project, another survey was conducted. There was no difference in the incidence of stop–arm violations.

Noteworthy Aspects

1. The toll–free line, 1–888–STOP–4KIDS, gave Florida's citizens a low–risk way to report a violation. All information from these calls was destroyed right away for the protection of the caller (so there was no possibility of determining who made the call).

2. During the time that the toll–free line was in effect, efforts were successful in increasing the fine for the violation from $25 to $50 plus points. It is now a major infraction.


Best Practices Guide: Reducing the Illegal Passing of School Buses