Lakeland School Bus AccidentSovereign Immunity
A school bus accident was reported in Lakeland, Florida. This accident happened at approximately 6:30 a.m. at the intersection of Galloway Road and Swindell Road. According to police, the school bus driver came to a stop at the stop sign before going through the intersection but did not yield to a pickup truck coming from the side.
The pickup truck did not have a stop sign and was not obligated to stop. A total of 20 student were on the bus headed to Kathleen High School The pickup truck driver, the bus driver, and three students suffered injuries from the crash and went to the hospital. The bus driver was issued a traffic citation for violating the right of way.
Reasonable Expectation That The Law Will Be Obeyed
With this particular case, the driver of the pickup truck has a reasonable expectation that other vehicles on the roadway are going to obey the law. We do not know why the bus driver pulled out in front of the truck except to say that he or she made a mistake. Regardless, the bus driver had an obligation to remain stopped at the stop sign until it was clear to enter the intersection and go.
Section 316.123(2)(a), Florida Statutes should control in this case:
After having stopped, the driver shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle which has entered the intersection from another highway or which is approaching so closely on said highway as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time when the driver is moving across or within the intersection.
Sovereign Immunity Limits Under Florida Law
The School Board of Polk County, Florida is legally responsible for this accident up to sovereign immunity limits for a government vehicle accident. Those limits are $200,000 per person and $300,000 in the aggregate.