School buses, crossing guards, and school zones should all be at the front of your mind as you hit the road the next few weeks. Just in case you need a refresher, here are a few back to school safety tips on things to watch out for:
Children Walking to School
Florida is the 2nd worst state for pedestrian accidents. According to the National Highway Safety Administration, speeding is a major factor in many accidents and can be deadly in those involving pedestrians. Motorists are less likely to see a pedestrian while speeding, and if they do they may not be able to avoid hitting them. Even at the low speed of 40 MPH, a pedestrian has an 85 percent chance of death when struck by a vehicle.
- Pay attention to school zones and slow down!
- Don’t block crosswalks, it risks the lives of pedestrians who have to walk around you.
- Be wary of stopped vehicles as they could be stopped for pedestrians
- Always yield for pedestrians even if you have the right of way.
- Do not honk or rev your engine as it could frighten children and create a dangerous situation
- Obviously be on the lookout for small children when you know you are near a park, school, or playground, or if you know that school is about to start or is letting out.
School Bus Safety
According to research by the National Safety Council, most of the children who lose their lives in bus-related incidents are 4 to 7 years old, and they’re walking. If you’re driving behind a bus, allow a greater following distance than if you were driving behind a car. It will give you more time to stop once the yellow lights start flashing.
- Motorists are required to stop when approaching a school bus that is stopped with its red lights flashing and STOP arms extended.
- All drivers moving in either direction on a two-way street must stop for a school bus displaying a stop signal, and must remain stopped until the road is clear of children AND the school bus stop arm is withdrawn.
- On a highway divided by a paved median, all drivers moving in either direction must stop for a school bus displaying a stop signal and must remain stopped until the road is clear of children AND the school bus stop arm is withdrawn.
- The only time traffic approaching an oncoming school bus does not need to stop, is if there is a raised barrier such as a concrete divider or at least five feet of unpaved space separating the lanes of traffic.
- Be alert and watch for children if there is a school bus in the vicinity.
(Without any injury or accident occurring, unlawfully passing a school bus can result in 4 points on your license and a minimum fine of $165 – so please stop!)
Children Riding Bikes to School
- Children on bicycles can be unpredictable and can make sudden changes in direction.
- Leave more than the normal car length in front of you if you are behind a child or teen riding in the street
- Be wary of bike riders even if they are on a sidewalk, driveway, or playground
If you, your student, or someone you know is involved in an accident and needs a voice to stand up for them and to help them through this trying time, call me on my cell! Reach out to Keith Ligori of Ligori & Sanders at any time at 813-254-7119.
Remember, Injured? Call Me On My cell!!! or go to www.CallMeOnMyCell.com.
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