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VCSO/FCSO Asks Drivers & Pedestrians To Be Careful & Stay Safe In School Zones

By on August 8, 2017 in WNDB News


Flagler & Volusia Counties, FL – The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) and the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office (VCSO) are warning residents that students are heading back to school soon and that safety should be on the minds of everyone traveling through school zones and near bus stops.

On Thursday, August 10, Flagler County students will be back in class. The FCSO is increasing patrol presence at bus stops and in school zones beginning on August 10 through August 18.

(Graphic courtesy of the FCSO)

The FCSO’s Motor Unit will be driving throughout the County’s school zones and will be helping parents and their children cross main roadways safely. Patrols will be enforcing bus safety as well by making sure drivers slow down in school zones, stop when a bus has its red flashing lights on or its stop sign extended and refrain from passing a bus when it is stopped.

Throughout the County, message boards have been posted to remind drivers to be cautious and to drive safely since school is back in session.

(Graphic courtesy of the FCSO)

“Our biggest goal is awareness that school is back in session and kids will be out walking and riding bicycles to the bus stop or to school, and drivers need to be aware and take extra precautions to eliminate distractions and drive safety,” said Flagler County Sheriff, Rick Staly. “Children’s safety is our top priority.”

In Volusia County, teachers are heading back to school on Tuesday, August 8 and students are heading back to class on Monday, August 14. The VCSO is emphasizing that drivers and pedestrians put down their cell phones and other electronics and to never text and drive or walk near traffic while distracted.

“Don’t fall into the trap of thinking it can’t happen to you,” said Volusia County Sheriff, Mike Chitwood. “The moment you look down at your phone might be the moment an innocent child steps into the road. Don’t make a mistake you have to live with for the rest of your life. All we’re asking you to do is slow down and pay attention.”

The VCSO is also amping up patrol presence around school zones and bus stops. Residents are warned that there are over 70 public schools in Volusia and that if you must drive through a school zone, you need to slow down and be aware of your surroundings.

They clarify that unless you are driving the opposite direction from a bus and there is at least a 5-foot wide raised barrier or an unpaved median, you cannot pass a stopped bus. VCSO deputies will be enforcing traffic violations in school zones and at bus stops throughout the year.

The VCSO asks that you talk to your student and make sure that they know the safest way to and from school and that they are familiar with how to travel safely. In the U.S., the leading cause of death for teens is car crashes. 1 in 4 fatal teen car crashes occurs after school during the period of 3 PM to 7 PM.

If you want to learn more about the VCSO’s Teen Driving Challenge, an eight-hour course that trains teens to avoid being involved in car crashes, go here.

The Sheriff’s Office also put together a list of tips for drivers, students riding the bus and students who walk or bike to and from school. These tips can be found below.

If you drive your children to school:

  • Pick up and drop off children in the appropriate area and follow school staff instructions
  • Drive defensively and be ready to stop at any time
  • Give yourself more time to get your children to school during the first few weeks due to increased traffic
  • Slow down in school zones and near bus stops
  • Be cautious of student drivers
  • Obey speed limits
  • Drive carefully in areas where there are a lot of parked cars
  • Remember that buses stop frequently and it is illegal to pass them
  • Yield to pedestrians and bicyclists

If you’re a student riding the bus:

  • Do not wait on the street for your bus
  • Wait until the bus comes to a complete stop and the doors open before walking towards it
  • Never walk behind a bus
  • Look both ways before crossing the street to get on the bus
  • Look both ways after getting off the bus and get out of traffic immediately

If you’re a student walking or biking to school:

  • Wear a helmet that fits properly and use a bike that is the right size
  • Do not wear any loose clothing or ride with loose shoelaces or drawstrings
  • Ride on the right side of the road with traffic
  • Use appropriate hand signals
  • Respect all traffic lights and stop signs
  • Walk or bike with a friend
  • Walk on sidewalks
  • Only cross at intersections
  • Wear bright clothing to be more visible
  • Never bike or walk distracted

Photo courtesy of Tonktiti and Shutterstock.com.

Copyright Southern Stone Communications 2017.

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