Back to School Safety Tips


The beginning of the school year is when children are more at risk of transportation-related injuries.

Here are a few tips to help you and your children safely survive what can be a chaotic week.


Motorists:

  • Slow down, especially when you are approaching a school zone, or students walking or biking to school. All schools have designated school zone speed limits of 15 mph which are clearly marked.
  • Put down your cellphone. Texting while driving is a secondary offense in Florida since September 2013. You can be penalized if you are pulled over for a primary infraction. However, even talking on a cellphone is a distraction.
  • Watch for school buses. Passing a school bus that has its stop signs displayed is against the law. The fine for passing a stopped school bus is the same as it is for running a red light - $284.
  • Watch for children when exiting driveways. Children are usually excited to get to school and see their friends and don’t always pay attention around driveways and alleyways.

Parents:

  • Be a role model. Children tend to mirror what you do. Always wear your seatbelt, always wear a helmet when biking, and always follow pedestrian safety rules. Don’t talk on your cellphone or text while driving.
  • Supervise children as they are walking or biking to school, or as they wait for a school bus.
  • Buckle Up and make sure everyone else in your car is properly buckled in. Properly means children in seatbelts alone should not put the shoulder portion of the belt behind them, or under their arm. Children in car seats with harnesses should be buckled in and the retaining clip should be at armpit level. As of January 1, 2015, children ages 4 and 5 are required to be in a car seat or a booster seat. They will not be allowed to be buckled in with just a seat belt. The exception to that would be if the driver is not an immediate family member or the child is being transported because of a medical emergency.

Students:

  • Buckle Up. Always wear your seatbelt and don’t take it off until the car comes to a complete stop and you are ready to get out. Never buckle your seatbelt with your backpack on, and always ride in the back seat. That’s the safest place for young people.
  • Wear your helmet. Always wear a helmet when you ride your bike, and follow traffic safety rules. Remember, wearing a helmet is not an option if you are under 16. It’s the law.
  • Learn and practice safety rules for walking or biking to school. If there are no sidewalks available remember that walkers walk on the side of the street facing oncoming traffic. Bike riders ride on the same side of the street as vehicles going in the same direction. Stay as close to the edge of the roadway as possible. Always cross at crosswalks and follow school crossing guard instructions.
  • Teen Drivers should avoid speeding and distractions such as texting, talking on their cellphone, eating, and adjusting the radio. They should also limit the amount of passengers in
    their vehicle and remind everyone to buckle up. Remember, if an unbuckled passenger is under the age of 18, the driver gets the ticket!

Please join us as we strive to make the new school year a happy and safe one for everyone involved!





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