ORLANDO, Fla. – News 6 traffic safety expert Trooper Steve Montiero answers viewer questions about the rules of the road every week, helping Orlando-area residents become better drivers by being better educated.
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Today’s topic focused on back-to-school safety.
“The day has finally arrived where all Central Florida counties will be back to school. With a mix of parents sending some students to school and some staying home for virtual learning, that doesn’t mean traffic safety should be forgotten. We will see an increase in not only cars on the road, but now we will see those morning and evening walkers and bicyclists and those beautiful school buses. As a little reminder, I threw together three things that we should all be aware of when hitting the roads this week,” Trooper Steve said.
- Let’s address the obvious: There will be school buses back on our roads. As a standard safety practice, you should always give a school bus three to four car lengths of distance at all times. I don’t mean just when a school bus has come to a complete stop -- I am suggesting that as a rule of thumb. When behind a school bus and it comes to a complete stop to either load or unload, all vehicles should keep a safe distance from that school bus. This should not only be done to ensure the safety of our students, but to give that bus driver some room to maneuver. After a pickup or drop off from the right travel lane, a school bus driver may need to negotiate to a different travel lane after they are stopped. Giving the proper distance allows for the bus driver to do just that.
- There will definitely be an increase in student activity in the morning and the afternoon. It’s been almost six months since any student has had some type of normal school routine, and that means you, the driver, have not seen much pedestrian traffic in the early morning hours or in the evening. Mix that with our afternoon showers, and things can get a little difficult. Eliminating the distractions and being constantly aware will allow for a safe return to school.
- Look twice, save a life. This applies to everyone out on the roads. Going back to school brings a variety of drivers to the road. This is why I say, “Look twice, save a life.” Not only will we have students possibly riding their bicycles to school, but we will have first-time drivers heading to school. Combine this with adults conducting their normal business, then add bus drivers and there will be a lot of people out there. Take the time over the next few days to make sure you are constantly aware of what’s going on in your community when it comes to traffic patterns. Looking twice, maybe even a third time, could prevent that crash with the bicyclists.