Advertisement
  1. Breaking News

Pasco deputies: Stop. Driving. By. Stopped. School. Buses.

Published Nov. 15, 2018

PORT RICHEY — Deputies launched an operation this week to catch drivers who illegally speed by stopped school buses on U.S. 19.

The Pasco County Sheriff's Office said the effort is the result of complaints it heard this weekend that many motorists are failing to stop on the busy highway for school buses.

Sheriff's spokesman Kevin Doll said that deputies looked into the complaints on Monday and found "there are numerous drivers just blowing by stopped school buses."

By Florida law, drivers must stop when the school bus extends its stop signs and activates its flashing red lights on two-lane roads and highways that are not divided by a raised median.

On divided highways, drivers headed in the same direction as the bus must stop and opposing traffic must proceed with caution.

Enforcement started Tuesday.

The issue got social media's attention, too. Monica Douglas, a Hudson mother whose three kids ride a school bus, on Wednesday posted a Facebook video of herself cheering deputies as they pulled drivers over for ignoring the stopped bus. It has already been viewed more than 4.5 million times.

Deputies are monitoring school buses during morning and afternoon stops, Doll said, parking near bus stops to intercept scofflaw drivers. Deputies handed out 13 citations on Wednesday, Doll said.

The Sheriff's Office plans to continue the effort until deputies think they've made a dent in the number of violations. And the agency is sharing body camera footage of those traffic stops on its social media channels to raise awareness about the problem.

Douglas told the Tampa Bay Times in a Facebook message that she just wanted to get the word out about these drivers to "protect our children."

She added: "It was just a couple moms I got together to make a difference, and it did."

Contact Justin Trombly at jtrombly@tampabay.com. Follow @JustinTrombly.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Former St. Petersburg Housing Authority CEO Tony Love hired Elle Resources as the agency's media and communications firm in 2018. The firm, owned by Michelle Ligon, was paid $5,000 every month, twice the limit on the fixed-price contract, a review by the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development found. The review found eight violations of federal regulations and the federal agency has given the Housing Authority until Oct. 29 to explain the violations and come up with a corrective action plan.
    A U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development review finds eight violations of federal rules at the St. Petersburg Housing Authority, including “serious lapses” in the award and payment of...
  2. A man uses the bike lane on First Avenue S in 2018. A bicyclist was struck and killed while using the crosswalk in the 2800 block of Dr. Martin Luther King Street N, where the city installed new bike lanes. [TIMES (2018)]  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The crash took place on a stretch of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street N the city has tried to make safer to bike and walk on.
  3. Stay with tampabay.com for the latest news and updates. Times
    One woman, 82, was crossing 50th Street, and the other, 58, was struck on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
  4. Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and updates. TMCCARTY  |  times staff
    The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said the deputy intentionally struck a car to keep up from spinning into oncoming traffic along Curlew Road.
  5. Stay with tampabay.com for the latest news and updates. Times
    A seriously injured man found near Fowler Avenue and 22nd Street died at a hospital, police said.
  6. Erik Maltais took an unconventional path to becoming CEO of Immertec, a virtual reality company aimed at training physicians remotely. He dropped out of school as a teenager, served in Iraq in the Marine Corps and eventually found his way to Tampa. OCTAVIO JONES   |   TIMES  |  Times
    Software from Immertec can bring physicians into an operating room thousands of miles away.
  7. Homeowner Cheryl Murdoch, 59, explains the workings of the Philips Smart Mirror in her bathroom. Murdoch and her husband live in the Epperson neighborhood in Wesley Chapel, home of the Crystal Lagoon, where some residents are piloting new health technologies inside their homes. SCOTT KEELER  |   Times
    In Pasco’s Crystal Lagoon community, AdventHealth and Metro Development Group are testing in-home technology aimed at keeping people away from the hospital.
  8. Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos listens to a speaker share an opinion about a city matter during a city council meeting at Clearwater City Hall in Clearwater, Fla. on Thursday, April 20, 2017.  On Thursday, the Clearwater City Council rejected the mayor's resolution urging lawmakers to ban assault weapons.  [Times files] TIMES FILES  |  Tampa Bay Times
    However, the city did pass a resolution calling for more modest gun control measures.
  9. Michael Robert-Jose Harbaugh has pleaded guilty in the 2017 slaying of Safety Harbor neighbor David Sommer, a former reporter. Harbaugh also pleaded guilty to a charge he tried to have a witness in the case killed. [Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]
    Former journalist David Sommer was killed in 2017. Michael Harbaugh, 42, agreed to serve 30 years in prison for his crimes.
  10. Homeland Security agents have arrested St. Petersburg police Officer Matthew Enhoffer, left, on child pornography charges. In this 2015 picture, he received the St. Petersburg Police Department's Medal of Valor for Enhoffer's actions in a shootout with an armed suspect that year. Tampa Bay Times
    The arrest comes after Homeland Security agents raided Officer Matthew Enhoffer’s home last week.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement