Making sure your kids in Florida are safe on their way to and from school is a top priority, and that includes when they’re in the car. Basically, their safety is dependent on everyone’s behavior behind the wheel, and that’s why the law holds all road users responsible. But there are things that you can do to help too.
Driving tips when dropping off or picking up kids at school
If you’re driving your kids to school, drop them off as close to the school as possible, so they don’t have to cross busy streets. And when picking them up, do it in a designated area rather than double parking or blocking traffic. If you can’t find a spot, park somewhere legally accepted and walk to get your child. You should also:
- Obey all traffic laws, including speed limits and stop signs/signals to avoid motor vehicle accidents.
- Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and school zones.
- Never pass a stopped school bus that has its red lights flashing.
- Be patient, and don’t get angry if traffic is moving slowly around a school.
Safety tips in school zones
When driving in a school zone, always be aware of your surroundings, and be prepared to stop unexpectedly. Remember, the speed limit is lower for a reason. Also:
- Be extra cautious when children are present, especially before and after school.
- Watch for students who may dart into the street without looking first.
- Obey crossing guards, and never try to pass a vehicle that’s stopped for pedestrians.
- Never use a cell phone in a school zone, even if you’re stopped, because it’s against the law in Florida.
Penalties for endangering children’s lives in Florida
If you break the law and put a child’s life in danger, there are several consequences you could face, including hefty fines and a jail term. The child or his or her parent may also file a lawsuit against you, and a judge could rule that you pay damages. In addition, the school itself could ban you from ever driving close to its property again and file a lawsuit against you for breaking its laws.
Children can be very unpredictable on the road, so the best thing you can do as an adult is to drive cautiously and adhere to all safety regulations. Moreover, you can also take time to teach your kids about road safety as they prepare for a new school year.