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Back to School Safety

The Seminole County Sheriff’s Office partners with Seminole County Public Schools in several ways to assist children and families as they go back to school.  Our School Crossing Guard Program is responsible for 180 posts throughout the county and the safe passage of 5,000 students as they walk and bike to school each day.  School Resource Deputies are assigned to elementary, middle and high schools throughout the county where they teach prevention and safety, liaison with parents and faculty, add a layer of safety to campuses, and handle any criminal incidents that happen on school grounds.   The Traffic Safety Unit educates motorists and patrols school zones to ensure the safety of students and drivers.

Seven Florida laws designed to keep our students safe!

  • In school zones, motorists must slow down to the marked speed limit, which can vary from 20 to 25 miles per hour. Zones are in effect on days when school is in session a half hour before the first bell and a half hour after the last bell.  Speeding in a school zone can result in enhanced penalties. 
  • Motorists must yield to a stopped school bus!  Failure to yield is a moving violation and subject to citation.
  • It’s unlawful to wear a pair of headphones and earbuds while driving or to text, email or instant message while driving. 
  • A seatbelt is required for the driver of the vehicle, a front seat passenger of any age, and any person in the vehicle under 18 years old.
  • Bicycle riders under 16 years of age are required to wear a bicycle helmet.
  • Drivers must to yield to pedestrians crossing the road within crosswalks. Pedestrians have the right of way.
  • When school buses stop to drop off or pick up children, motorists must stop until the bus driver has turned off the stop signal.
    • On a two-lane road vehicles traveling in both directions must stop.
    • On a multi-lane road that is paved all the way across, traffic in both directions must stop.
    • On a divided highway with a raised (concrete or grass) median at least 5 feet wide, traffic behind the bus must stop.  Vehicles traveling in the opposite direction are not required to stop.

Bicycle Safety Tips

  • Bicyclists should always wear their helmet when riding their bike and should adhere to the same traffic signals that motorists do. 
  • Under Florida law, bicyclists are prohibited from wearing headphones and earbuds in both ears.
  • Children riding bicycles should always walk their bike through a pedestrian crossing.
  • Watch this bicycle safety PSA from SCSO’s Youth Academy

Motorist Safety Tips

  • Motorists should always yield to crossing guards. It takes an average of only 30 seconds for a crossing guard to cross a group of children.  Failure to obey the guards is the same traffic violation as running a stop sign or red light. 
  • Florida law requires motorists to move over or slow down for parked emergency vehicles with lights flashing on the side of the road.  Moving over ensures the safety of the emergency vehicle and any emergency workers performing their jobs in the area.

Pedestrian Safety Tips

  • Children should always stay on the sidewalks and cross only at designated crosswalks.
  • Before crossing a street, children should look left, right, then left again, to check for traffic in all directions…and should keep looking for cars as they cross the street.
  • Children should be taught the only safe place to cross railway tracks is at a designated crossing.

Teen Driver Safety Tips  (from Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles)

  • Teen crashes spike in August and September as they head back to school.  Crashes happen more often during hours when school begins and lets out.
  • Teach teen drivers not to fiddle with the radio or their iPod while they are driving. It's better to wait until they can pull over and stop, because even taking their focus off the road for a few seconds could lead to an accident.
  • Let teen drivers know the importance of not driving distracted.  Teens should not talk on the cell phone, text, put on make-up, comb their hair, or eat while driving. If they need to make a call or text someone, they should pull off the road to a safe spot and park the car before doing so.
  • Learn more about teen driving here: How To Teach Your Teen To Be A Safer Driver- Drive It Home PSA

Resources:

Seminole County Public Schools

Seminole County Public Schools Student Code of Conduct  

Community Traffic Safety Team

Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles

Florida Department of Transportation

National Safety Council

Drive It Home - Helping to keep your teen drive safe

For more information, contact our School Crossing Guards, Traffic Safety Unit or School Resource Deputies at 407-665-6880.


COPYRIGHT SEMINOLE COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE 2016

Seminole County Sheriff's Office
100 Eslinger Way
Sanford, Florida 32773
Phone: (407) 665-6600