Some Sarasota County private schools are back in session today, and public school students start Monday, so Sheriff Tom Knight is urging drivers and children to follow our Top 5 Safety Tips:
1. Adults who drive children to school should leave early to avoid the rush.
2. All motorists should watch for children in school zones and on nearby streets.
3. Vehicles must stop for all school buses when the stop sign is out and lights are flashing. This is true even if the bus is on the opposite side of the street unless a median more than four feet wide divides the road.
4. Teach children to catch the eye of drivers when walking in front of a school bus.
5. Always drive slowly in school zones and pay close attention to crossing guards.
“Many students might be walking to school or riding bikes for the first time,” said Sheriff Knight. “Children could also be new to the neighborhood and unfamiliar with the roads, so drivers must be vigilant and not allow distractions to take their eyes off the road.”
Current fines start at $156 for driving one to nine miles per hour over the speed limit in a school zone up to $456 for 20 to 29 miles per hour over, and a mandatory court appearance for 30 miles per hour or more over the speed limit.
The greater risk, however, is not to your wallet but to the life and safety of a child, so slow down and pay even closer attention when driving before and after school.