School zone safety as students return to class



FORT MYERS

Teachers report back to class Monday, and soon students will, too, so there will be more pedestrians, bicyclists and buses sharing the road with you, and it’s important to be extra careful.

Remind your kids, first, to stay at least 5 feet away from the curb while they wait on their school bus. If they are walking, riding a skateboard or biking, they are going to need to be as alert as possible and make sure they are paying attention to all the vehicles around them. And they should do their best to make sure they can be seen.

“It’s a great idea to wear bright colors so you can be seen, always constantly [be] looking for other cars, especially when you’re near a road,” said AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins. “And make sure that you’re not wearing your head[phones] or your earbuds. Again, remove earbuds when you’re walking near traffic, so you can hear any approaching vehicles.”

According to AAA, more than 50% of Floridians travel through a school zone on their daily commute to and from work, so these school zone precautions apply to most of us in Southwest Florida.

“There could be that added safety risk when you consider the fact that every year you have new drivers out on the road,” Jenkins said. “They may have learned virtually, so you might have twice as many new drivers this year.”

Another safety tip: Put the phones down when you’re traveling in the mornings; that goes for adult drivers as well as the kids walking around. Stay alert, stay focused and stay safe this school year.



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