• New state law holds school districts accountable for child safety


    DEBARY, Fla. - A new state law took effect Wednesday that holds school districts accountable for making sure children get to school safely.
    Gabby’s Law is named after a DeBary girl who was hit and killed at her bus stop in 2010, but Gabby’s father said the law doesn’t go far enough.
    “I appreciate them honoring Gabby with a law named after her name, but it doesn't address the real issue of student safety,” Donald Mair said.
    Mair said the new law only addresses hazardous walking conditions, like no sidewalks on the way to school. It also gives districts five years to fix any problems.
    “It's not about just having a law named after her. It's about stopping this from happening to any other child,” Mair said.
    Mair said Gabby’s law was not the law he had been fighting for since her death.
    Mair has been trying to toughen penalties for drivers who pass school buses. He also wanted cameras on school buses to potentially catch drivers breaking the law.
    Mair said he wished lawmakers acted on that version since his daughter died after she stepped off the bus.
    “Let's hold the lawbreakers accountable. The people who illegally pass the school bus 2.5 million times a day in a school year. Let's hold them accountable and go after them,” Mair said.
    Mair said only then can deaths like Gabby’s be prevented.
    Mair said he’s already written lawmakers again, asking to expand the law in the next session, and he plans to run for the Florida legislature so he can work on getting the law passed.

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