Local roads will be heavy with traffic as children return to school on Tuesday, Aug. 21. Motorists should be alert and drive with care as students take back the streets after a long summer.
Drivers should be especially cautious as they approach intersections, with or
without marked crosswalks, and pay particular attention to those areas that
are designated as school crossings with the bright yellow signs.
Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies will be heightening their patrols in school zones, as well as other roadways in the vicinity of schools. Fines for speeding in Hillsborough County school zones can exceed $500 and some have a mandated court appearance.
Another major concern going into the new school year is school bus safety.
Every year, there are repeated incidents of drivers failing to obey the laws
regarding stopped school buses. The language of the law regarding the passing
of a stopped school bus can be a bit confusing.
Motorists who are uncertain about when a stop is required can visit the
state's "Stop on Red, Kids Ahead" website for more information and great graphics that better explain these laws.
Parents can follow these tips with their children to make sure they know the road safety rules:
- Travel the route with your child before the first day of school to ensure they know the appropriate places to cross and how to do so safely.
- Children should be reminded to always look left, right, and left again when crossing the road and to be particularly aware of drivers making turns.
- Those riding bikes should be reminded to always wear a helmet and to walk their bikes through crosswalks.
- Student pedestrians and cyclists should be reminded to obey the instructions of school crossing guards and deputies stationed along their route.