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Florida Kids Go Back to School Safety is Top Concern

Safety is Top Concern

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Troopers watching school zones with radar
Photo courtesy WESH News

Troopers watching school zones

An end to the summer heat may not be in sight for at least another month, but summer vacation is quickly coming to an end for millions of Florida's kids. Ready or not, over the next couple of weeks, children and teens will be headed back to school. That means a significant increase in kids on our state's roadways. Whether they are beginning drivers headed to the nearest high school; or child passengers in cars or school buses; or walkers and bike riders on sidewalks, roadways, or streets -- kids are on the roads in the mornings and afternoons Monday through Friday. Whether they are riding in cars with their parents to suburban neighborhood schools; or standing at intersections and crossing streets in downtown urban areas, or standing on the sides of rural roadways waiting to catch the school bus -- kids will be out there and on the move. Safety is often the last thing on their minds. They are kids, after all.

The act of getting to and from school has the greatest potential for danger than any other single act performed during the school day. To help ensure kids have the safest transportation experience possible, it is important that parents learn transportation safety tips and relay this information to their children and teenagers, as well as teach the importance of personal responsibility.

Younger children are at a disadvantage because they are less visible to motorists. Also, children are less capable than adults of judging where and when it's safe to cross the street and less likely to fully understand the consequences of their potential misjudgments. National statistics show that one-fifth of all children age 14 and under who die in motor vehicle related crashes are pedestrians. Many of these fatalities are children who run across the street, not paying attention to oncoming vehicles.

Motorists need to be on full alert for children waiting at bus stops and walking or riding bikes to and from schools. The best protection is for drivers to slow down when approaching children on roadways. Every mile per hour a driver reduces vehicle speed allows for greater reaction time. This could be the difference between life and death for a child who unexpectedly darts across the street. Motorists need to pay extra attention in school zones or areas where children are present, not only in these first few critical weeks, but throughout the entire school year.

To better prepare for a safe back to school experience, parents can take the lead and try to make sure their children and teens have all the information they need to help them arrive at school and return home again safe and sound everyday. To assist in this effort, FHP has compiled a list of website links that provide valuable safety information.

Traffic Safety Information & Links

    In the Car

    On the School Bus

    On a Bike


    Teen Drivers

    Other Back to School Safety Tips

Troopers on motorcycles watching school zones.
The Florida Highway Patrol is watching!

Teach your children to be alert and stay aware of their surroundings, whether getting on or off the bus, riding a bike, walking down the street, or driving to school.


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