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Sun Times Feature Story


Back to School Safety Tips from the Hollywood Police Department


HOLLYWOOD - As summer vacation is drawing to a close and children head back to school, we will be sharing the road with students, buses, and bicyclists. It’s an important time to remind everyone to slow down and pay attention. The Hollywood Police Department has the following reminders from Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

Motorists and School Bus Safety
• All drivers moving in either direction on a two-way street must stop for a school bus displaying a stop signal, and must remain stopped until the road is clear of children AND the school bus stop arm is withdrawn.
• On a highway divided by a paved median, all drivers moving in either direction must stop for a school bus displaying a stop signal, and must remain stopped until the road is clear of children AND the school bus stop arm is withdrawn.
• On a highway divided by a raised barrier or an unpaved median at least 5 feet wide, drivers moving in the opposite direction do not have to stop for the bus (painted lines or pavement markings are not considered barriers). However, these motorists should slow down and watch for students loading or unloading from the bus.
• Be alert and watch for children especially near schools, bus stops, school buses and in school parking lots.
• Pay extra attention to lower speed limits in school zones.
• Watch for and obey signals from school crossing guards.
• Only drive or park in authorized areas to drop off or pick up children at school.
School Zone Speeding
• Fines are doubled for speeding in a school zone. The fine for driving more than 30 mph over the speed limit in a school (or construction) zone is $555.50.
• Special speed limit signs are posted around schools to alert you as you enter the zone. Many of these signs have flashing lights to tell you when the lower speed limit is in effect. There is also a sign to indicate when you have left the school zone. The reasons for low speed limits when school children are present are obvious. Kids will be crossing the street on foot and on their bicycles. There will also be extra heavy traffic of parents picking up their kids.
• School buses will also be entering or exiting the school. Pay special attention when school buses are present. When a school bus stops, you must stop. Never pass a school bus that is loading or unloading children. Passing a stopped school bus is a four-point infraction and is very dangerous.
• Our assumption is that no one would intentionally speed in a school zone or pass a school bus. The primary reason that drivers break these rules is lack of attention. If you have ever driven 5 blocks and can't remember it you know what we mean. Day dreaming, listening to music, or talking on your cell phone are a few examples of activities that distract you from driving.
• Keep your focus on driving and make other activities secondary and you will notice that flashing speed limit sign, the stopped school bus, or the construction ahead sign, all designed to tell you to slow down or pay attention.

Let’s all do our part to make sure our kids are safe as they head back to school on Monday. For more Public Safety tips and information, visit www.hollywoodpolice.org.