MIAMI (CBS4) – The long summer break has come to an end which means Monday morning thousands of South Florida kids will be heading back to school.
In addition to more cars on the road, drivers are urged to watch out for kids walking to school or riding their bikes. Also, be prepared to slow down in school zones and obey the posted speed limits, speeding fines range from anywhere from $156.00 to more than $600.00. Police officers positioned in school zones will also be looking for drivers who park where they are not allowed and that all students on bikes have the necessary bike helmet.
Drivers are also urged to watch for school buses. Their red flashing lights and an extended stop arm indicate the school bus is stopped to load or unload children. State law requires you to stop. Keep an eye out for children walking in the street, especially where there are no sidewalks. Be alert for children playing and gathering near bus stops and for those who may dart into the street without looking for traffic. When driving in neighborhoods or school zones, watch for young people who may be in a hurry to get to school and may not be thinking about getting there safely.
Parents should always make sure the kids are buckled up and avoid texting or talking on the phone while driving. They should also supervise young children as they are walking or biking to school or as they wait at the school bus stop.
Students should always remove their backpack before getting in the vehicle; never buckle the safety belt with a backpack on. Law enforcement agencies urge all parents to place the kids in the back seat – it’s the safest place for young people.
Students who walk to school should use a sidewalk when available, look left-right-left when crossing the road, and always walk facing traffic. Always cross at crosswalks, obey all traffic signs, traffic lights and crossing guard instructions.
Teen drivers should avoid speeding and minimize distractions (texting, talking on cell phones, eating, adjusting the radio) while driving. Teens are also reminded never to overload their vehicle; everyone riding in a vehicle must use a safety belt.