Thousands of young students are about to head back to school! In Lee County, classes resume mid-August, so prepare for more school buses, car lines, and children present while you’re on the road. Our Florida school buses carry some pretty precious cargo, and we want to ensure our children stay safe on their way to and from school. As a driver, parent, or student, there are many safety precautions that you can take to help make it happen.
As a licensed driver, you have a responsibility to keep yourself and others safe on the road, especially children. The first rule, whether in a school zone or not, is to remain alert. Distracted driving is extremely dangerous and reduces the time you have to react. Distracted driving is especially troublesome when buses full of children make railroad stops or neighborhood drop-offs. If you are in a school zone, near a school bus, or see any pedestrians, make sure you are paying extra attention to the road so you can make fast and smart decisions.
As a parent, if you have the time and means, drive your child to the bus stop and get them there at least 5 minutes before their scheduled pickup. Of course, it’s easier said than done, but getting your child to the bus stop early will not only minimize accidents, it also ensures your child is calm and ready for the day ahead. If your child is older and able to walk to the bus stop alone, teach them to stand further back, away from the road. As a parent, taking these extra precautions and educating your child on the dangers of the road will give you both peace of mind.
As a student who walks the same route every day, you may, over time, become unaware of the dangers around you as a pedestrian. We often become complacent when we get comfortable and in a routine. There are many small steps you can take to ensure your safety to and from school. These may sound redundant, but that’s because they’re important:
- Always look both ways before you cross the street
- Wait for the bus to stop completely before getting on or off
- Do not walk distracted, remain alert and pay attention to your surroundings.
It only takes a matter of seconds for an everyday situation to become dangerous.
In the last year, many students were hurt during getting to and from school, resulting in the penalty doubling in Florida for failing to stop for a school bus. For multiple offenses, the driver may even get their license suspended for up to two years. Remember, by law, handheld devices are prohibited in designated school crossings, school zones, or active work zone areas. If you are caught using your cellphone or any other handheld device while driving, you will be fined and have points added to your license (acknowledging you are a high-risk driver), which will also increase your insurance rates.
It is important to always be cautious and aware of your surroundings no matter where you are or what you are doing. Don’t risk getting hurt or harming others and certainly avoid the legal troubles one encounters with distracted driving. If you are looking for a compassionate lawyer to walk you through your case, contact the Law Office of Joseph Cerino today at 239-561-2820.