Florida Safe Routes to School

Safe Routes to School and liability is sometimes a confusing topic. Some schools have been reluctant to support Safe Routes to School (SRTS) programs due to concerns about legal action if an injury or problem arises. But such fears are largely unwarranted. In our courts, anyone can sue for anything, but whether a lawsuit withstands a simple motion to dismiss because it is baseless, is key. By understanding the liability issues in question acting with those issues in mind , schools, nonprofits, and parent groups can help students reap the health and academic benefits of SRTS programs while avoiding or minimizing the risk of a lawsuit.

This workshop focuses on understanding liability issues and overcoming unjustified fears of a lawsuit from an injured student or parent. We will review basic liability concepts and then delve into the more detailed issues related to the implementation of specific programs, such as walking school buses, bike trains, and remote drop offs. We will also discuss liability situations and provide general legal information. In fact, well-run SRTS programs can even reduce schools’ risk of liability by identifying potential dangers and putting measures in place to protect children against injury on their way to and from school.

SRTS is a statewide program, funded by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), whose goal is to make it safer for more children to walk and bike to school. This training is being brought to you by FDOT through the Florida Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) Center. The Florida LTAP Center provides quality training, technical assistance, & technology transfer to the Florida local transportation workforce.

Learning Objectives:

✔ Understanding why a lawsuit is brought.
✔ What are the three things necessary for a lawsuit.
✔ What motivates and de-motivates someone to bring a suit.
✔ Describe the purpose of Safe Routes to School.
✔ Identify walking and biking to school barriers.
✔ Identify the benefits of Safe Routes to School programs.
✔ Describe negligence.
✔ Identify the elements of liability.
✔ Review case studies and tips to reduce liability.


J. Steele Olmstead has thirty-seven years of experience representing people injured by the negligence of others. His firm, J. Steele Olmstead, P. A. exclusively represents injured people only. He has a state wide practice and has represented injured people from Key West to Jacksonville to Pensacola and all points between. Steele has lectured on tort, automobile negligence and bicycling issues to numerous Rotary and bicycling clubs. He has spoken before city councils, county commissions and metropolitan planning organizations on behalf of people who use our public streets – people walking, riding bicycles. Mr. Olmstead has been interviewed on television several times on issues surrounding bicycling injuries and safe walking and cycling infrastructures. He is an advocate for safe places for walking and bicycling and making sidewalks and streets once again safe for people to walk and bicycle. He’s a member of the Florida Justice Association and is a “Florida Justice Association Eagle” member of that group which is the preeminent organization of trial lawyers in Florida. He is also a member of four sponsored-only trial lawyer listservs and a member of the American Justice Association. Steele is passionate about fairness. He was one of the lead plaintiff’s in the lawsuit against the Florida House of Representatives’ gerrymandered voting districts in Florida. When he’s not working, Steele is a licensed airplane pilot and loves bicycling of any kind and anywhere. He also plays mandolin, guitar, resonator and is currently learning old time banjo. He is married to a brilliant and talented woman who is smarter than him and the couple have two children who make him immensely proud.


To earn Professional Development Hours (PDHs) or a Certificate of Completion for each recorded webinar, you must view the entire webinar. After viewing, please fill out the web form at the link below to request your certificate. The Florida LTAP Center will follow-up within 2-3 weeks.

This webinar will award 1.0 PDH.

Request Your Certificate


Click the link below to view the recorded webinar

Addressing Liability in Safe Routes to School


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