School is Starting: Share the Road Responsibly!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 11, 2014

Contact: Kim Smith

Public school students return to school on August 18th. The resulting increase in traffic congestion increases the potential for roadway conflicts. The Brevard Community Traffic Safety Team and the Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization offer the following safety tips to ensure everyone arrives safely.

Motorists:

  1. Be aware of signage that indicates school crossings or reduced speed zones. Reduce speeds accordingly and be vigilant in watching for children who might step or ride into the road unexpectedly.
  2.  Obey the commands of crossing guards. Their job is to help students walking and riding bicycles, give them the space they need to cross safely.
  3. Allow extra time to get to your destination. School bus stops and increased traffic may create delays in your commute. While these delays occur throughout the school year, they are typically worse during first 2-3 weeks of school as everyone adjusts to new schedules and routes.
  4. Avoid distractions! Your phone call/text can wait!
  5. Passing a stopped school bus is dangerous and illegal! Visit www.FloridaSchoolBusSafety.gov if you are unsure of the law relating to stopped buses.
  6. If driving your child to school, use the designated parent loop. It is unsafe to have car riders exit the vehicle in the roadway and/or to have them walk between parked or stopped cars in congested areas.

Pedestrians/Bicyclists:

  1. Parents: walk/ride the route with your child several times before the first day of school, as well as the first few days of school.  Be sure they understand safe/proper crossing techniques.
  2. ALWAYS look left, right, left (and over your shoulder for turning vehicles) before stepping/riding into the road, even if you have the signal to proceed.
  3. When possible, cross only at designated school crossings and/or at marked crosswalks.
  4. Wear reflective materials and/or bright clothing. If walking/biking during the dark, carry a flashlight or equip  your bike with a working headlight and rear light/reflector.
  5. Bicyclists under the age of 16 are required, by law, to wear a helmet. A helmet hanging on your handle bars does not  count.
  6. Do not wear headphones while walking/biking. Pedestrians/bicyclists need to hear the warning of a car horn or approaching sirens.
  7. Avoid distractions! Distracted walking/biking can be just as dangerous as distracted driving.  Everyone on the roadway has a responsibility to be alert and aware of their surroundings.
  8. Walk in groups, when possible, and encourage safe walking/biking habits among your friends.

You can help reduce the number of vehicles on the road during morning and afternoon commute!  A Walking School Bus or Bike Train is a group of children walking/biking to school under the supervision of one or more adult volunteers/parents.  For more information on participating in the Walking School Bus Program contact your school or the Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization at 321-690-6890.